Manifestation of PT Symmetry Breaking in Polarization Space with Terahertz Metasurfaces

Mark Lawrence, Ningning Xu, Xueqian Zhang, Longqing Cong, Jiaguang Han, Weili Zhang, Shuang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


By utilizing the vector nature of light as well as the inherent anisotropy of artificial meta-atoms, we investigate parity time symmetry breaking in polarization space using a metasurface with anisotropic absorption, whose building blocks consist of two orthogonally orientated meta-atoms with the same resonant frequency but different loss coefficients. By varying their coupling strength, we directly observe a phase transition in the eigenpolarization states of the system, across which the long axis of the eigenpolarization ellipses experience a sudden rotation of 45°. Despite the lack of rotational symmetry of the metasurface, precisely at the phase transition, known as the exceptional point, the eigenmodes coalesce into a single circularly polarized state. The PT symmetric metasurfaces are experimentally implemented at terahertz
Original languageEnglish
Article number093901
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9-29
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2014


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