Posted on 26/09/2014
The team of physicists from the Department of Physics at King's College London, National Taiwan University, Academia Sinica Taiwan, and University of Massachusetts, have revealed record-resolution images of optical field inside a metamaterial, visualising light interaction with “meta-atoms" forming the metamaterial. Metamaterials are man-made, structured materials with unusual and not-existing naturally optical properties, allowing such exotic applications as perfect lens and invisibility cloaks.
In the paper published in the journal Nano Letters, the images of the metamaterial consisting of 50 nm diameter, metallic nanowires were obtained. These nanowires, surrounded by light, are the analogues of the atoms, surrounded by electrons, arranged into crystal lattices forming conventional materials. Just like the same carbon atoms can form materials as different as diamond, graphite, and graphene, mutual arrangement of nanowires determines how metamaterial behaves and ultimately allow engineering of its properties needed for applications. The present work revealed, for the first time, fine details of light interaction with the nanowire metamaterial and confirms the theory developed to explain their properties.
The article Looking into Meta-atoms of Plasmonic Nanowire Metamaterial was published by journal Nano Letters (DOI: 10.1021/nl501283c)