Abstract

We analyze the dispersive properties of inhomogeneous nanostructures (INSs) composed of alternating layers of different materials. Analysis of the interaction between the propagating pulse and the INS provides modified dispersion characteristics. An approximate theoretical model predicting the dispersion properties of the INS is developed and compared with more accurate numeric computation results. It is shown that the dispersion coefficient can be engineered by controlling the spatial distribution of the pulse carrier, the geometry of the INS, and the refractive indices of the materials combined to construct the INS. Specifically, the dispersion coefficient can be engineered to yield various types of dispersion, including normal dispersion, anomalous dispersion, and zero dispersion. As such, the discussed INS can be useful for applications that will benefit from engineered dispersion management and control.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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