Exceptional Points: An Emerging Tool for Sensor Applications

Absar U. Hassan, Hossein Hodaei, Demetrios N. Christodoulides and Mercedeh Khajavikhan

Leveraging singularities in non-energy-conserving optical systems could open up a new route to ultrasensitive devices.

figure[Illustration by Sanaz Faryadras]

Light often plays a key role in sensing applications, from the 4-km-long interferometer arms of gravitational-wave observatories to micro- and nanoscale devices capable of detecting and analyzing single molecules. As engineers chase ever-more-sensitive applications, however, they will eventually require new tools that go beyond the fundamental limits of conventional approaches, such as monitoring spectral-resonance shifts in optical cavities. Where will the extra sensitivity come from?

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