Nav: Home

Metamaterials open up entirely new possibilities in optics

November 29, 2016

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a method that enables them to manipulate light to follow any predetermined path along a surface. The innovation has now been described as one of the world's 30 most exciting discoveries within optics and photonics during 2016.

Earlier this year, Chalmers researchers Philippe Tassin and Sophie Viaene published their discovery about how light can be controlled with metamaterials. Amidst strong international competition, their paper has now been chosen as one of the best this year by the influential magazine, Optics & Photonics News. The research is thereby featured in the special edition, Optics in 2016, which was published today.

The innovation from Chalmers University of Technology makes it possible to manipulate light to follow any predetermined path along a surface. With the help of a mathematical design tool it is possible to create various artificial materials -- metamaterials -- that guide the light along the path of your choice.

"We don't have to think about the limitations of natural materials. Instead, we decide what we want to do and then we design a metamaterial waveguide that makes it work. This is beautiful physics, building on Einstein's general theory of relativity," says Sophie Viaene, PhD student in the Division of Condensed Matter Physics.

The new technique has a wide field of application. For example, it can be used in optical chips to achieve reliable data delivery on the internet, or to speed up routers.

"Our method opens up the toolbox of transformation optics to a plethora of waveguide-based devices," says Philippe Tassin, Professor in the Division of Condensed Matter Physics.

In the future, the researchers hope that they can even improve how light is produced.

"For example, an LED lamp is far from perfect when it comes to energy efficiency. Metamaterials could extract light in a more efficient way -- and maybe we can also manipulate the colour of light," says Tassin.
-end-


Chalmers University of Technology

Related Metamaterials Articles:

Ultrafast tunable semiconductor metamaterial created
An international team of researchers has devised an ultrafast tunable metamaterial based on gallium arsenide nanoparticles, as published by Nature Communications.
CCNY physicists demonstrate photonic hypercrystals for control of light-matter interaction
Control of light-matter interaction is central to fundamental phenomena and technologies such as photosynthesis, lasers, LEDs and solar cells.
3-D printers open new design space for wireless devices
Duke materials scientists and chemists have shown a way to bring electromagnetic metamaterials into the third dimension using commercial 3-D printers.
Legos and origami inspire next-generation materials
Inspired by the fun of playing with Legos, an international team of researchers from Tianjin University of Technology and Harvard University have used the idea of assembling building-blocks to make the promise of next-generation materials a practical reality.
Penn engineers' 'photonic doping' makes class of metamaterials easier to fabricate
By carefully combining multiple structures, metamaterials can exhibit properties that don't naturally exist.
More Metamaterials News and Metamaterials Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...