Metamaterials, metasurfaces and plasmonic devices to efficiently control the electromagnetic waves

Authors:Christos Argyropoulos

Source:FERMAT, Volume 6, Communications 4, Nov Dec.,2014

Abstract: Metamaterials, metasurfaces and plasmonic devices can be used to manipulate, control and tailor the electromagnetic radiation in unprecedented ways. They are artificially constructed structures able to exhibit novel functionalities not available in materials provided by nature. Their properties can lead to the design of exciting structures, such as invisible cloaks and ultrathin energy concentrators. However, these novel devices often suffer from intrinsic physical limitations, such as extremely narrowband operation, high losses, weak optical nonlinear response, low tunability and poor reconfigurable operation. In my talk, I will propose several ways to overcome these inherent limitations, based on the introduction of tunable, active and nonlinear media. The large field enhancement in the vicinity of individual and collections of plasmonic nanoparticles and inside metamaterial gratings ensures a significant boosting of nonlinear optical effects, which can lead to ultrathin optical frequency mixers, tunable optical sensors and filters, all-optical switches and nano-memories. I will also present a new ultrathin nonlinear metasurface reflector, or meta-mirror, with giant nonlinear response, a million times stronger compared to traditional nonlinear materials. Finally, I will discuss recent theoretical and experimental advances towards demonstrating large enhancement of spontaneous emission rates of molecules and quantum dots embedded in plasmonic patch nanoantennas. The experimental demonstration of Purcell factors ~1,000 will be reported, while maintaining high quantum efficiency and directional emission.

Keywords:Metamaterials, metasurfaces, plasmonics, nanoantennas, non-linear optics, second harmonic generation, optical bistability, Purcell enhancement

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Metamaterials, metasurfaces and plasmonic devices to efficiently control the electromagnetic waves