Overcoming losses with gain in a negative refractive index metamaterial

Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Sep 17;105(12):127401. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.127401. Epub 2010 Sep 14.


On the basis of a full-vectorial three-dimensional Maxwell-Bloch approach we investigate the possibility of using gain to overcome losses in a negative refractive index fishnet metamaterial. We show that appropriate placing of optically pumped laser dyes (gain) into the metamaterial structure results in a frequency band where the nonbianisotropic metamaterial becomes amplifying. In that region both the real and the imaginary part of the effective refractive index become simultaneously negative and the figure of merit diverges at two distinct frequency points.