Differential evolution algorithm based photonic structure design: Numerical and experimental verification of subwavelength λ /5 focusing of light

Bor E., Turduev M., Kurt H.

Scientific Reports, vol.6, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/srep30871
  • Journal Name: Scientific Reports
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


© The Author(s) 2016.Photonic structure designs based on optimization algorithms provide superior properties compared to those using intuition-based approaches. In the present study, we numerically and experimentally demonstrate subwavelength focusing of light using wavelength scale absorption-free dielectric scattering objects embedded in an air background. An optimization algorithm based on differential evolution integrated into the finite-difference time-domain method was applied to determine the locations of each circular dielectric object with a constant radius and refractive index. The multiobjective cost function defined inside the algorithm ensures strong focusing of light with low intensity side lobes. The temporal and spectral responses of the designed compact photonic structure provided a beam spot size in air with a full width at half maximum value of 0.19λ, where λ is the wavelength of light. The experiments were carried out in the microwave region to verify numerical findings, and very good agreement between the two approaches was found. The subwavelength light focusing is associated with a strong interference effect due to nonuniformly arranged scatterers and an irregular index gradient. Improving the focusing capability of optical elements by surpassing the diffraction limit of light is of paramount importance in optical imaging, lithography, data storage, and strong light-matter interaction.