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  1. Spaceplates are novel flat-optic devices that implement the optical response of a free-space volume over a smaller length, effectively “compressing space” for light propagation. Together with flat lenses such as metalenses or diffractive lenses, spaceplates have the potential to enable the miniaturization of any free-space optical system. While the fundamental and practical bounds on the performance metrics of flat lenses have been well studied in recent years, a similar understanding of the ultimate limits of spaceplates is lacking, especially regarding the issue of bandwidth, which remains as a crucial roadblock for the adoption of this platform. In this work, we derive fundamental bounds on the bandwidth of spaceplates as a function of their numerical aperture and compression ratio (ratio by which the free-space pathway is compressed). The general form of these bounds is universal and can be applied and specialized for different broad classes of space-compression devices, regardless of their particular implementation. Our findings also offer relevant insights into the physical mechanism at the origin of generic space-compression effects and may guide the design of higher performance spaceplates, opening new opportunities for ultra-compact, monolithic, planar optical systems for a variety of applications.

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  2. Metals, semiconductors, metamaterials, and various two-dimensional materials with plasmonic dispersion exhibit numerous exotic physical effects in the presence of an external bias, for example an external static magnetic field or electric current. These physical phenomena range from Faraday rotation of light propagating in the bulk to strong confinement and directionality of guided modes on the surface and are a consequence of the breaking of Lorentz reciprocity in these systems. The recent introduction of relevant concepts of topological physics, translated from condensed-matter systems to photonics, has not only given a new perspective on some of these topics by relating certain bulk properties of plasmonic media to the surface phenomena, but has also led to the discovery of new regimes of truly unidirectional, backscattering-immune, surface-wave propagation. In this article, we briefly review the concepts of nonreciprocity and topology and describe their manifestation in plasmonic materials. Furthermore, we use these concepts to classify and discuss the different classes of guided surface modes existing on the interfaces of various plasmonic systems. 
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  3. Abstract

    The field of quantum materials has experienced rapid growth over the past decade, driven by exciting new discoveries with immense transformative potential. Traditional synthetic methods to quantum materials have, however, limited the exploration of architectural control beyond the atomic scale. By contrast, soft matter self‐assembly can be used to tailor material structure over a large range of length scales, with a vast array of possible form factors, promising emerging quantum material properties at the mesoscale. This review explores opportunities for soft matter science to impact the synthesis of quantum materials with advanced properties. Existing work at the interface of these two fields is highlighted, and perspectives are provided on possible future directions by discussing the potential benefits and challenges which can arise from their bridging.

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