The new metamaterial developed by the Duke team has three major components a thin layer of gold film coated with a nano-thin layer of an insulator, topped off with a dusting of millions of self-assembled nanocubes. In the current experiments, the nanocubes were fabricated out of silver.
"The nanocubes are literally scattered on the gold film and we can control the properties of the material by varying the geometry of the construct," Cirac said. "The absorptivity of large surface areas can now be controlled using this method at scales out of reach of lithography."
While metals on their own tend to have reflective properties, the nanocubes act as tiny antennae that can cancel out the reflectance of the metal surface.S
"By combining different components of the metamaterial elements together into a single composite, more complicated reflectance spectra could be engineered, achieving a level of control needed in more exotic applications, such as dynamic inks," Cirac said.
|Contact: Richard Merritt|