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Deep subwavelength features are expected to have minimal impact on wave transport. Here we show that in contrast to this common understanding, disorder can have a dramatic effect in a one-dimensional disordered optical system with spatial features a thousand times smaller than the wavelength. We examine a unique regime of Anderson localization where the localization length is shown to scale linearly with the wavelength instead of diverging, because of the role of evanescent waves. In addition, we demonstrate an unusual order of magnitude enhancement of transmission induced due to localization. These results are described for electromagnetic waves, but are directly relevant to other wave systems such as electrons in multi-quantum-well structures.


This article was originally published in Nature Communications, available at DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12927.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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