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Metamaterials

Our research interests are devoted to the analysis, modeling and practical assembly of optical metamaterials, with especial focus in the employment of dielectric nanoparticles, for the Visible-mid-IR spectral region. In this spectral region, dielectric materials are conveniently chosen for properties such as low loss and phonon resonances, both properties can potentially be used favorably to enhance the engineered resonance characteristics of the metamaterial.

In 2000, David Smith demonstrated simultaneous negative permittivity and permeability of a composite medium in the microwave frequencies. This was achieved by using metal split ring resonators and wires in a periodic arrangement. Each repeated unit (metamolecule) contained a split ring resonator and a wire, which increased the susceptibility of the metamaterial to the magnetic and electric fields, respectively.

Since then, metamaterials have been the focus of many research efforts, especially for their attractive physics and novel applications such as negative refraction, perfect lenses, and cloaking devices. Ideally, the most important feature an optical metamaterial has to offer is the ability to design new materials with non-natural properties on demand. This can done by engineering the optical response of the metamolecule to an incident electromagnetic wave.

Our aim when devising metamaterials is mainly the calculation of the effective parameters (ԑ-permittivity, µ-permeability) as the design criterion; for this purpose, the effective medium theory is used to analytically calculate the desired resonances of the metamolecule in the desired spectral region. Additionally, an FDTD method (COMSOL) is used to expand our understanding of the metamaterial interaction with the desired fields. As the complexity of the metamolecule is increased, optical tweezers can be used for simple and complex arrangements, numerical methods are a necessary tool for modeling.