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Asymmetric Transmission and Isolation in Nonlinear Devices: Why They Are Different

Fernandes, D. E. ; Silveirinha, M. G.

IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters Vol. 17, Nº 11, pp. 1953 - 1957, August, 2018.

ISSN (print): 1536-1225
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,18 (in 2018)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/LAWP.2018.2868044

Here, we highlight the fundamental differences between nonlinear two-port devices with strongly asymmetric transmission responses and “isolators”. We use a mushroom-structure loaded with nonlinear elements as a guiding example. The mushroom-metamaterial can be operated in a regime where it behaves as a nearly ideal electromagnetic diode, such that the individual excitations of the two ports lead to strongly asymmetric responses. We point out the limitations of using this type of nonlinear devices as microwave isolators. In particular, we underline the crucial importance of material loss to attain the isolator functionality and that in the lossless regime nonreciprocal devices may be time-reversal invariant.