Abstract

This Letter shows that bound states in the continuum (BIC), which are normalizable modes with energy embedded in the continuous spectrum of scattered states, exist in certain optical waveguide lattices with PT-symmetric defects. There are two distinct types of BIC modes: BIC states that exist in the broken PT phase, and correspond to exponentially localized modes with either exponentially damped or amplified optical power; and BIC modes with sub-exponential spatial localization that also can exist in the unbroken PT phase. These two types of BIC modes at the PT symmetry breaking point behave differently: in the former case, spatial localization is lost and the defect coherently radiates outgoing waves with an optical power that linearly increases with the propagation distance; in the latter case, localization is maintained and the optical power increase is quadratic.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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