Microwave tunneling and robust information transfer based on parity-time-symmetric absorber-emitter pairs

Zhicheng Xiao, Younes Ra'Di, Sergei Tretyakov, Andrea Alù

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Robust signal transfer in the form of electromagnetic waves is of fundamental importance in modern technology, yet its operation is often challenged by unwanted modifications of the channel connecting transmitter and receiver. Parity-time- (PT-) symmetric systems, combining active and passive elements in a balanced form, provide an interesting route in this context. Here, we demonstrate a PT-symmetric microwave system operating in the extreme case in which the channel is shorted through a small reactance, which acts as a nearly impenetrable obstacle, and it is therefore expected to induce large reflections and poor transmission. After placing a gain element behind the obstacle, and a balanced lossy element in front of it, we observe full restoration of information and overall transparency to an external observer, despite the presence of the obstacle. Our theory, simulations, and experiments unambiguously demonstrate stable and robust wave tunneling and information transfer supported by PT symmetry, opening opportunities for efficient communication through channels with dynamic changes, active filtering, and active metamaterial technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7108494
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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