Project No: 213390
Staring date: June 1, 2008
Coordinating organization: Foundation for Research and Technolohy Hellas (FORTH)
(Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL))
Responsible group: Photonics, Phononics and Metamaterials group
Coordinating person: C. M. Soukoulis
Metamaterials are composite, man-made materials, composed of sub-wavelength metallic building blocks, which show novel
and unique electromagnetic properties, not occurring in natural materials. A particularly important class of such materials is
the negative refractive index metamaterials (NIM). NIM have been in the foreground of scientific interest in the last seven
years. In 2006-2007 near infrared and optical frequencies were obtained, despite the initial objections and disbelief. However,
many serious obstacles have to be overcome before the impressive possibilities of optical/photonic metamaterials (PMM) can
become real applications. The present project identifies the main obstacles and proposes specific approaches to deal with
them; in addition, it intends to study novel and unexplored capabilities of PMM. Specifically, the project objectives are (a)
realization of 3D PMM, (b) reduction of losses in PMM, (c) realization of active and tunable/switchable (electrically or optically)
PMM by incorporating gain or nonlinearity, and (d) realization of chiral PMM. The accomplishment of those objectives is both
a theoretical and a technological challenge, as it requires proofs of concepts, advanced computational techniques and
advanced nanofabrication approaches.
To guide and test the proposed PMM development effort we have identified a number of important and ICT relevant
demonstrators, which include thin-film optical isolators, electro-optic modulators, optical switching, and NIM-based "perfect
lenses" in the infrared, and possibly in the visible.
The implementation of the project will be done through combined theory/modeling, fabrication and experimental testing
efforts, in continuous interaction. The broad theoretical and experimental expertise of the proposers, together with their field
shaping past contributions to metamaterials, make them capable to face the challenges involved and to minimize the risk,
ensuring the maximum possible success of the project.