https://hal-iogs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01698855Lupu, AnatoleAnatoleLupuC2N - Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies [Orsay] - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueKonotop, VladimirVladimirKonotopCentro de Fisica Teorica e Computacional - ULISBOA - Universidade de Lisboa = University of LisbonBenisty, HenriHenriBenistyLaboratoire Charles Fabry / Naphel - LCF - Laboratoire Charles Fabry - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - IOGS - Institut d'Optique Graduate School - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueOptimal P T -symmetric switch features exceptional pointHAL CCSD2017[PHYS.PHYS.PHYS-OPTICS] Physics [physics]/Physics [physics]/Optics [physics.optics]Edwards, Marie-Laure2018-02-01 16:57:552022-10-17 13:43:202018-02-08 18:29:49enJournal articleshttps://hal-iogs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01698855/document10.1038/s41598-017-13264-9application/pdf1We consider the optimization problem of least energy-cost path in open systems that are described by non-Hermitian Hamiltonians. We apply it to find the optimal gain-loss profile for a non-uniform PT-symmetric coupler performing a binary transfer function. We bring evidence that the gain-loss profile fulfilling this requirement corresponds to a non-conventional situation where light intensity is conserved at every point along the PT-symmetric system. Besides, we find that the optimal profile corresponds to a practically important case of optical switching operation achieved with minimal amount of aggregate amplification level. We show that switching architectures using such type of gain-loss profiles are much more advantageous than conventional uniform PT-symmetric couplers in terms of gain and energy. Furthermore, this type of optimal profile turns out to be robust against fabrication imperfections. This opens new prospects for functional applications of PT-symmetric devices in photonics.