Dissipative loss in optical materials is considered one of the major challenges in nano-optics. Here we show that, counter-intuitively, a large imaginary part of material permittivity contributes positively to subwavelength light enhancement and confinement. The Purcell factor and the fluorescence enhancement of dissipative dielectric bowtie nanoantennas, such as Si in ultraviolet (UV), are demonstrated to be orders of magnitude higher than their lossless dielectric counterparts, which is particularly favorable in deep UV applications where metals are plasmonically inactive. The loss-facilitated field enhancement is the result of a large material property contrast and an electric field discontinuity. These dissipative dielectric nanostructures can be easily achieved with a great variety of dielectrics at their Lorentz oscillation frequencies, thus having the potential to build a completely new material platform boosting light-matter interaction over broader frequency ranges, with advantages such as bio-compatibility, CMOS compatibility, and harsh environment endurance.
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