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New 'metamaterial' practical for optical advances
Date:5/15/2012

or billionths of a meter.

Unlike natural materials, metamaterials are able to reduce the "index of refraction" to less than one or less than zero. Refraction occurs as electromagnetic waves, including light, bend when passing from one material into another. It causes the bent-stick-in-water effect, which occurs when a stick placed in a glass of water appears bent when viewed from the outside. Each material has its own refraction index, which describes how much light will bend in that particular material and defines how much the speed of light slows down while passing through a material

Natural materials typically have refractive indices greater than one. Metamaterials, however, can make the index of refraction vary from zero to one, which possibly will enable applications including the hyperlens.

The layered metamaterial is a so-called plasmonic structure because it conducts clouds of electrons called "plasmons."

"Alternative plasmonic materials such as AZO overcome the bottleneck created by conventional metals in the design of optical metamaterials and enable more efficient devices," Boltasseva said. "We anticipate that the development of these new plasmonic materials and nanostructured material composites will lead to tremendous progress in the technology of optical metamaterials, enabling the full-scale development of this technology and uncovering many new physical phenomena."


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Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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