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Magnetic-Field Dependence of Effective Plasma

Frequency for a Plasma


Photonic Crystal
Volume 5, Number 1, February 2013

Tzu-Chyang King
Wen-Kai Kuo
Tzong-Jer Yang
Tingting Bian
Chien-Jang Wu, Member, IEEE

DOI: 10.1109/JPHOT.2013.2241417
1943-0655/$31.00 Ó2013 IEEE
IEEE Photonics Journal Dependence of Effective Plasma Frequency

Magnetic-Field Dependence of Effective


Plasma Frequency for a Plasma
Photonic Crystal
Tzu-Chyang King, 1 Wen-Kai Kuo, 2 Tzong-Jer Yang, 3 Tingting Bian, 4 and
Chien-Jang Wu,4 Member, IEEE

1
Department of Applied Physics National Pingtung University of Education, Pingtung 900, Taiwan
2
Department of Electro-Optical Engineering, National Formosa University, Yunlin 632, Taiwan
3
Department of Electrical Engineering, Chung Hua University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan
4
Institute of Electro-Optical Science and Technology, National Taiwan Normal University,
Taipei 116, Taiwan

DOI: 10.1109/JPHOT.2013.2241417
1943-0655/$31.00 Ó2013 IEEE

Manuscript received October 17, 2012; revised January 14, 2013; accepted January 16, 2013. Date of
publication January 21, 2013; date of current version February 4, 2013. This work was supported in
part by the National Science Council (NSC) of Taiwan under Contract NSC-100-2112-M-003-005-MY3
and in part by the National Taiwan Normal University under Grant NTNU100-D-01. Corresponding
author: C.-J. Wu (e-mail: jasperwu@ntnu.edu.tw).

Abstract: The effective plasma frequency in a photonic crystal (PC) is defined as the lowest
frequency at which electromagnetic wave can start to propagate through the PC. In this
paper, we theoretically investigate the effective plasma frequency fp;eff for a magnetized 1-D
plasma PC (PPC). The PPC is made of two constituents, i.e., the plasma and the dielectric
material like quartz. The effective plasma frequency in a PPC is obtained based on the
calculated photonic band structure (PBS). It is found that fp;eff can be controlled by the
externally applied static magnetic field, namely, fp;eff decreases significantly as the static
magnetic field increases. This suggests that the plasma layer in a PPC shows a dielectric-
like behavior when the magnetic field is applied. In addition, in the presence of static
magnetic field, fp;eff will be increased as a function of electron density and thickness of the
plasma layer. In the angular dependence of effective plasma frequency, we find that fp;eff is a
decreasing function of angle of incidence in the absence of the static magnetic field.
However, it becomes an increasing function of angle of incidence when the static magnetic
field is applied. Finally, the effect of filling factor of the plasma layer is also illustrated.

Index Terms: Effective plasma frequency, plasma photonic crystal (PPC), transfer matrix
method (TMM).

1. Introduction
Photonic crystals (PCs), artificially periodic structures, have attracted much attention after the works
of Yablonovitch and John [1], [2]. In the early stage, people were interested in the conventional PCs
made of dielectric and/or metallic materials. Later, PCs containing other materials are also of interest
to the community. For example, studies of photonic band structure (PBS) in the superconductor-
dielectric PCs are widely reported [3]–[8]. The use of superconductor in place of metal in the PC has
some advantages. The loss issue in metal can be greatly reduced by using superconductor. The
photonic band gap (PBG) can be tuned by the temperature and the magnetic field because the
permittivity of a superconducting material is dependent on these two factors. Another PC containing
semiconductor also possesses temperature-dependent PBG [9], [10]. In addition, a new type of PCs

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IEEE Photonics Journal Dependence of Effective Plasma Frequency

called the plasma PC (PPC) was first introduced in 2004 by Hojo and Mase [11]. After that, there have
been many reports on the wave properties of the PPCs [12]–[17].
It is known that the relative permittivity of a bulk plasma system is a function of frequency and can
be expressed as Drude-like form, i.e.,

!2p
"ð!Þ ¼ 1  (1)
!2 þ j!

where  is the damping frequency, which represents the dissipation, and the plasma frequency !p
is given by
 1=2
Ne2
!p ¼ 2fp ¼ (2)
m"0

where N is the electron density, m is the mass of electron, e is the electronic charge, and "0 is the
permittivity of vacuum. The expression of permittivity in (1) is based on the use of expðj!t Þ for the
temporal part for all electromagnetic fields. In the absence of damping frequency,  ¼ 0, the plasma
frequency !p can be treated as a characteristic frequency. For frequencies greater than it, the
propagation of electromagnetic wave into the plasma is allowed, whereas electromagnetic wave is
forbidden to propagate at frequencies less than the plasma frequency. However, it is possible to let
electromagnetic waves propagate in a PPC even the frequencies are below the plasma frequency.
The lowest frequency over which the propagation of electromagnetic waves in a PPC is allowed is
the so-called effective plasma frequency !p;eff .
In this paper, we investigate the effective plasma frequency !p;eff for a 1-D PPC. The concept of
effective plasma frequency in a PC was introduced by Xu et al. [18]. The idea of !p;eff stems from the
plasma frequency in (1) for a bulk material. The authors investigated !p;eff for a metallic-dielectric PC
(MDPC) and showed that !p;eff is less than the bulk plasma frequency !p . The results in [18] are,
however, not fully correct. (In [18], there are three erroneous conclusions on !p;eff . The first is that !p;eff
is independent of !p . The second is that !p;eff is insensitive to the filling factor of metal layer. The third
point is that !p;eff is inversely proportional to the thickness of the dielectric layer.) They have been
pointed out and corrected in [19], where analytical expression for the effective plasma frequency has
been given. Later, the effective plasma frequency for a PPC was studied by Wu et al. [20]. In [18] and
[19], effective plasma frequency is investigated for the MDPC. In [20], we have studied the effective
plasma frequency for the binary and ternary PPCs, where numerical results are fairly consistent with
those predicted by the effective medium theory. However, previous study of effective plasma
frequency in the PPCs is limited to the simple case where there is no externally applied static magnetic
field. In this paper, we would like to extend our interest to a more general case where a PPC is exerted
by an applied static magnetic field, namely, a magnetized PPC will be considered. The use of applying
static magnetic field in a PPC can provide an alternative to obtain a tunable PBS. For example, it has
been shown that the PBG of left-hand circular polarization and right-hand circular polarization is
controllable by the static magnetic field in addition to the plasma parameters [21]. By the way,
magnetic-field dependence of PC has attracted much attention. In [16], the authors investigate the
transmission and reflection properties in a finite all-PPC under the periodically varying external
magnetic field. In the work of Tian and Zi [22], the optical properties for a semiconductor (InSb)-based
PC is investigated under the influence of the magnetic field, including Faraday and Vogit effects. In
recent two reports [23], [24], the authors explore the magnetic-field dependence of transmission and
reflectance properties in an n-type InSb (n-InSb) PC. They show this kind of PC can exhibit filtering
characteristics in a defect-free PC structure. In this paper, our primary attention will turn to the
fundamental issue, the magnetic-field dependence of effective plasma frequency for a dielectric-
plasma PC. We shall examine how the static magnetic field affects the effective plasma frequency for a
PPC in the presence of the static magnetic field. We also investigate the effect of angle of incidence in
the oblique case.

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IEEE Photonics Journal Dependence of Effective Plasma Frequency

Fig. 1. Structures of the binary plasma-dielectric PC, where layers A and B are plasma and dielectric,
respectively. The corresponding thicknesses and permittivities are denoted by dA , dB , and "A , "B ,
respectively. The static magnetic field B0 is applied along the þy -direction. The angle of incident is
denoted by . Two polarizations, TE and TM modes, of the incident wave are shown. Here, only the TM
mode is considered.

2. Basic Equations
The structure of a PPC considered in this paper is depicted in Fig. 1, in which the plasma layer A
has a permittivity of "A and a thickness of dA , and layer B is a dielectric with a permittivity of "B and a
thickness of dB . The spatial periodicity is defined by  ¼ dA þ dB . Here, we limit the case of
transverse magnetic (TM) wave in a magnetized PPC because wave propagation in plasma layer is
not influenced by the static magnetic field in the transverse electric (TE) wave [25], [26].
The refractive index profile in Fig. 1 is written as

nB ; m G z G m þ dB ,
nðzÞ ¼ m ¼ 0; 1; 2;    (3)
nA ; m þ dB G z G ðm þ 1Þ,
pffiffiffiffiffi
where the refractive indices of layers A and B are np ¼ "p , p ¼ A and B, respectively. To
investigate the effective plasma frequency in a magnetized PPC, we employ the transfer matrix
method (TMM) to obtain the dispersion equation for the calculation of PBS [27]. According this
method, in the dielectric layer, the transfer matrix can be expressed as
 
 jB sin ðkBz dA Þ
cos ðkBz dA Þ
MB ¼ (4)
jB sin ðkBz dB Þ
cosðkBz dB Þ
pffiffiffiffiffi pffiffiffiffiffi pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
where kBz ¼ kB cos B , kB ¼ ð!=cÞ "B , and B ¼ "B ð "0 =0 Þð1= cos B Þ. Similarly, the transfer
matrix in the plasma layer is given by [16]
h i !
cosðkAz dA Þ þ "21 tan A sin ðkAz dA Þ  jA 1 þ ð"21 tan A Þ2 sin ðkAz dA Þ
MA ¼ (5)
jA sin ðkAz dA Þ cos ðkAz dA Þ  "21 tan A sin ðkAz dA Þ

where

! pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
kAz ¼ kA cos A ; kA ¼ "TM
c

and
rffiffiffiffiffi
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi "0 1
A ¼ "TM
0 cos A

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IEEE Photonics Journal Dependence of Effective Plasma Frequency

where
h i2
!ð! þ jÞ  !2p !2 !2c
"TM ¼ h i (6)
!2 ð! þ jÞ2  !2c  !!2p ð! þ jÞ
!2p !c
"21 ¼ h i (7)
! ð! þ jÞ2  !2c  !2p ð! þ jÞ

and !c ¼ eB0 =m is the cyclotron frequency. It is worth mentioning that the two permittivity in (6) and
(7) are derived based on the anisotropic dielectric function of a bulk plasma system in the presence
of the magnetic field, as well as the configuration of Fig. 1 for the PPC [28]. The physical meaning of
"TM is understood as an effective permittivity function of plasma layer in a magnetized PPC. The
permittivity "21 is closely related to the oblique incidence and the static magnetic field B0 . In the
normal incidence, A ¼ 0, this term in (5) will vanish automatically.
According to the Bloch theorem, it can be shown that the equation for the PBS calculation is
determined by the half trace of the single-period transfer matrix, i.e.,

1
cos ðK Þ ¼ ðm11 þ m22 Þ (8)
2

where K is the Bloch wave vector, and m11 and m22 are matrix elements of single-period transfer
matrix
 
m11 m12
M¼ ¼ MB MA : (9)
m21 m22

With (4) and (5), expressions for m11 and m22 are given by

m11 ¼ cosðkBz dB Þ cos ðkAz dA Þ þ cos ðkBz dB Þ"21 tan B sin ðkAz dA Þ
A
 sin ðkBz dB Þ sin ðkAz dA Þ (10)
B
B h i
m22 ¼  1 þ ð"21 tan A Þ2 sin ðkBz dB Þ sin ðkAz dA Þ
A
þ ½ cos ðkBz dB Þ cos ðkAz dA Þ  "21 tan A cos ðkBz dB Þ sin ðkAz dA Þ: (11)

Then, (8) can be written as [16]

 ðkAz dA Þ cos ðkBz dB Þ


cos ðK Þ ¼ cos
1 A B  
2
 þ 1 þ ð"21 tan A Þ sin ðkAz dA Þ sin ðkBz dB Þ: (12)
2 B A

Equation (12) is the main equation for the calculation of PBS in a magnetized PPC. In the
unmagnetized PPC, B0 ¼ 0 ! !c ¼ 0 ! "21 ¼ 0. Thus, (12) reduces to
 
1 A B
cosðK Þ ¼ cos ðkAz dA Þ cos ðkBz dB Þ  þ sin ðkAz dA Þ sin ðkBz dB Þ (13)
2 B A

which is a familiar equation like the one derived from Kronig–Penney model in band theory of
solids [27].

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IEEE Photonics Journal Dependence of Effective Plasma Frequency

Fig. 2. Calculated PBSs for a magnetized PPC at three different static magnetic fields,
B0 ¼ 0; 2; and 10 T. The corresponding effective plasma frequencies are denoted by the arrows.
The frequency fp is the plasma frequency in (2).

3. Numerical Results and Discussion


Let us now present the calculated PBS for the magnetized PPC. We first limit to the consideration in
the normal-incidence case. In Fig. 2, we plot the PBSs at different static magnetic fields, B0 ¼ 0
(black), 2 (red), and 10 (blue) T. Here, we take thicknesses dA ¼ 5 mm, dB ¼ 0:5 mm, and the
dielectric is taken to be the quartz with nB ¼ 2. In addition, the electron concentration
N ¼ 1013 cm3 and  ¼ 0 are taken. According to (2), the bulk plasma frequency is calculated to
be fp ¼ 28:38 GHz, which is indicated by the downward arrow in the figure. Note that the value of N
taken here is close to the microplasma system, which can be generated experimentally [29]. It can
be seen that, in the absence of the static magnetic field, B0 ¼ 0, the effective plasma frequency fp;eff
(marked by the upward arrow) is equal to 23.11 GHz, which is lower than the bulk plasma
frequency. The effective plasma frequency is then red-shifted as B0 increases. The values of fp;eff
are given by 23.11, 10.19, and 2.44 GHz at B0 ¼ 0; 2; and 10 T, respectively. The low-frequency
gap from f = 0 to f = fp;eff , which is not a Bragg gap, is called the plasmonic gap or metal-like gap,
which is independent of the periodic structure but relies strongly on the bulk properties of plasma. If
fp;eff moves toward fp , the system behaves more like a bulk plasma. Conversely, if fp;eff moves away
from fp , the structure will be dielectric-like. Thus, the magnitude of fp;eff can be regarded as a
characteristic frequency for the wave properties in a PPC operating at the low frequency region.
The dependence of effective plasma frequency on the static magnetic field is plotted in Fig. 3. It is
found that fp;eff is very sensitive to the magnetic field at B0 G 10 T, decreasing fast as B0 increases. It
then slowly drops versus B0 for B0 9 10 T. It is expected that fp;eff approaches zero when B0 is
sufficiently large. The zero effective plasma frequency reveals that the plasma behavior has been
broken and reduced to the common dielectric material. That is, at a very high static field, the PPC, at
low frequency, behaves like an all-dielectric PC, which is known to have an effective plasma
frequency (or cutoff frequency) at zero frequency.
With the same material parameters in Figs. 2 and 3, Fig. 4 illustrates the PBS at a fixed static
magnetic field of B0 ¼ 2 T for different electron concentrations, N ¼ 1  1011 , 1  1012 , 5  1012 ,
and 1  1013 cm3 . We see that fp;eff increases as s a function of N. That is, the effective plasma
frequency can be controlled by electron concentration. At a lower concentration such as
N ¼ 1011 cm3 , the effective plasma frequency has been effectively approaching zero, indicating
that the magnetized PPC is optically equivalent to a usual dielectric–dielectric PC (DDPC).
We continue to investigate the influence of thickness of plasma layer in the effective plasma
frequency. In Fig. 5, we plot the PBSs for different thicknesses of the plasma layer. Here, the dielectric
thickness remains at dB ¼ 0:5 mm, the static magnetic field is kept at B0 ¼ 2 T, and the electron

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Fig. 3. Calculated fp;eff as a function of the static magnetic field B0 . The material parameters are the
same as in Fig. 2.

Fig. 4. Calculated PBS at B0 ¼ 2 T for different N. The effective plasma frequency fp;eff is blue-shifted
as N increases.

Fig. 5. Calculated PBS at B0 ¼ 2 T for different dA . It is seen that fp;eff is blue-shifted as dA increases.

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Fig. 6. Calculated PBS at B0 ¼ 0 for different filling factor. It is seen that fp;eff is blue-shifted as  increases.

Fig. 7. Calculated PBS at B0 ¼ 0 for different angle of incidence. It is seen that fp;eff is red-shifted as
 increases.

concentration is taken to be N ¼ 1013 cm3 . It can be seen that the effective plasma frequency can be
increased as the thickness of plasma layer increases. The similar trend is also seen when the PPC is
in the absence of the static magnetic field, as shown in Fig. 6. Here, we define the filling factor of the
plasma layer as  ¼ dA =ðdA þ dB Þ ¼ dA =, and  ¼ 5 mm is taken in our calculation. The effective
plasma frequency increases as  increases, similar to Fig. 5.
In the above results, we have limited to the case of normal incidence. We now turn our attention to
the angular dependence of the effective plasma frequency. In the absence of the static magnetic field,
the calculated PBSs are shown in Fig. 7, where the same material parameters used in Fig. 2 are
taken. It is seen that the effective plasma frequency (indicated by the arrow) will be shifted to the lower
frequency when the angle of incidence is increased. Increasing the angle also causes the first pass
band to be flattened, i.e., the pass band will be more localized at a large angle of incidence.
In the presence of static magnetic field, the angular dependence of PBSs is plotted in Fig. 8, where
B0 ¼ 2 T is applied in the PPC. It is of interest to note the trend is opposite to that in Fig. 7. In this case,
the effective plasma frequency is increased when the angle is increased. In addition, the PBS shows a

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Fig. 8. Calculated PBS at B0 ¼ 2 T for different angle of incidence. It is seen that fp;eff is blue-shifted as
 increases.

Fig. 9. Permittivity functions of the plasma layer in the absence of static magnetic field (left) and in a
magnetic field of B0 ¼ 2 T.

simple shift behavior at B0 ¼ 2 T, which is contrary to Fig. 7 where the pass band not only is flattened
but also exhibits a shifting feature.
To briefly explain this opposite trend in the effective plasma frequency, in Fig. 9, we plot, in the
corresponding frequency regions of Figs. 7 and 8, permittivity functions in the absence of static
magnetic field (left) and in a static magnetic field of B0 ¼ 2 T (right). In the absence of the static field,
the plasma layer has the same permittivity "bulk given by (1) as the bulk one. However, the permittivity
of a magnetized plasma layer is described by "TM in (6). In the absence of the applied static magnetic
field, it can be seen from the left panel that the permittivity is always negative. Thus, the plasma layer
behaves like a metal so that the PPC can be regarded as a MDPC. In this case, the effective plasma
frequency fp;eff in the TM wave can be obtained from the case of normal incidence [19], [20]. That is, by
replacing the refractive index as ni = cos i , i ¼ A, and B, we have
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
~ B
cos 1  sin 2 ="B
fp;eff ðB0 ¼ 0; Þ pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi ¼ pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi (14)
"B þ ðcos B  "B Þ 2 "B þ ð1  sin 2 ="B  "B Þ

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IEEE Photonics Journal Dependence of Effective Plasma Frequency

where  ¼ dA = is the filling factor of the plasma layer defined previously in Fig. 6. With material
parameters in (14), numerical plot of fp;eff ðB0 ¼ 0; Þ versus  reveals a decreasing function, which, in
turn, explains the red-shift behavior in Fig. 7. On the other hand, in the presence of the static magnetic
field, the permittivity function of the plasma layer (in the right panel of Fig. 9) is positive, indicating that
the PPC is effectively as a DDPC. In this case, the PBS in Fig. 8 will be shifted to the higher frequency
as the angle of incidence increases, as illustrated in Fig. 8 [30]. As a result, fp;eff is blue-shifted as a
function of the angle of incidence.

4. Conclusion
The effective plasma frequency for the binary magnetized PPC has been analyzed based on the
TMM. Under the normal incidence, we have first investigated the effective plasma frequency as a
function of static magnetic field, electron concentration, and thickness of plasma layer. It is found
that the effective plasma frequency is a decreasing function of the static magnetic field. The
effective plasma frequency can be increased by increasing the electron density and the thickness in
the plasma layer. In the angular dependence of effective plasma frequency, we find that it will be
shifted to the lower frequency at a large angle of incidence in the absence of static magnetic field. It
is, however, shifted to the higher frequency when the magnetic field is applied. The analysis reveals
the effective plasma frequency of a PPC can be controlled by the intrinsic and extrinsic parameters.
The intrinsic parameters include the electron concentration, whereas the static magnetic field, the
angle of incidence, and the thickness of plasma layer are the extrinsic ones. The effective plasma
frequency is a fundamental parameter for a PPC. With this, the PPC can be replaced as an effective
bulk medium at frequency below and in the first photonic pass band. Thus, the study of effective
plasma frequency is informative to the band-gap engineering for a PPC at microwave frequency,
such as the transmission narrowband filter design and the omnidirectional mirror. The presence of
magnetic field can further enable us to design a magnetically tunable filter. Finally, it is worthy to
mention the reason why we study the 1-D PPC. Since plasma system is not a condensed matter,
higher dimensional PPC is, indeed, hard to be fabricated in laboratory. However, if the plasma is
replaced by the metal, it is possible to study the effective plasma frequency in a higher dimensional
MDPC. In fact, studies of effective plasma frequency in a 2-D metal-dielectric PC are now quite
available [31].

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