Enhanced energy storage in chaotic optical resonators

Changxu Liu, Andrea Di Falco, D Molinari, Yasser Khan, Boon S Ooi, Thomas F Krauss, Andrea Fratalocchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chaos is a phenomenon that occurs in many aspects of contemporary science. In classical dynamics, chaos is defined as a hypersensitivity to initial conditions. The presence of chaos is often unwanted, as it introduces unpredictability, which makes it difficult to predict or explain experimental results. Conversely, we demonstrate here how chaos can be used to enhance the ability of an optical resonator to store energy. We combine analytic theory with ab initio simulations and experiments in photonic-crystal resonators to show that a chaotic resonator can store six times more energy than its classical counterpart of the same volume. We explain the observed increase by considering the equipartition of energy among all degrees of freedom of the chaotic resonator (that is, the cavity modes) and discover a convergence of their lifetimes towards a single value. A compelling illustration of the theory is provided by enhanced absorption in deformed polystyrene microspheres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalNature Photonics
Volume7
Issue number6
Early online date3 May 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

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