Black-Box Coupled-Mode Theory: An Ab Initio Framework to Model Electromagnetic Interactions of Open, Lossy, and Dispersive Resonators
Published 2020-11-19Version 1
Temporal coupled-mode theory (TCMT) provides a simple yet powerful platform to model and analyze electromagnetic resonator systems. Nevertheless, restrictive assumptions and lack of rigorous connection to Maxwell's equations limit the TCMT formulation's generality and robustness. Herein, we present the Black-box Coupled-Mode Theory (BBCMT), a general ab initio CMT framework developed from Maxwell's equations and quasinormal mode (QNM) theory to model the electromagnetic interactions of dispersive, lossy, and open resonators. BBCMT development is enabled by employing Poynting's and conjugated reciprocity theorems to rigorously normalize QNMs and calculate their expansion coefficients. Our novel QNM analysis approach allows the definition of a resonator Hamiltonian matrix to characterize the modes' electromagnetic interactions, energy storage, and absorption. Uniquely, the BBCMT framework can capture a resonator's non-resonant scattering and absorption by treating the resonator scattered fields as a perturbation to those of a background structure, which can be flexibly chosen considering the desired accuracy-simplicity trade-off. BBCMT modeling complexity can be further adjusted by treating user-defined subcomponents of a resonator system as black-boxes described only by their input-output transfer characteristics. Beyond the BBCMT formulation, we present two lemmas to reverse-engineer the modeling parameters from calculated or measured far-field spectra. Moreover, we introduce the signal flow graphs from control theory to illustrate, interpret, and solve the BBCMT equations. To evince BBCMT's validity and generality, we compare the BBCMT and TCMT predictions for two plasmonic nanoresonator systems to finite-difference time-domain simulations and find BBCMT results to be a much better match. BBCMT reduces to TCMT or cavity perturbation theory under certain constraints and approximations.