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2 August 2010 Huygens, Mackintosh, Dalí, and Medusa: Polarization engineering (and more?)
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As Christiaan Huygens must have felt in his bones but could not have articulated with a mathematical theory, engineering of the polarization state of light is easily accomplished with anisotropic materials. Examine a crystal to see that its capabilities are quite restricted by its rigid Cartesian morphology reminiscent of the straitened designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. But let loose the genius of Salvador Dalí to transform straight rods into the flowing tresses of Medusa, and you begin to appreciate what all can be done to the polarization state by nanoengineering morphology such that it is locally cartesian but globally curvilinear. If you exclaim "What rot!," a few simple examples may suffice to convince you that engineering of both the polarization state and the operating frequency band can be accomplished by nanoengineering the morphology of complex substances called sculptured thin films (STFs). These nanoengineered metamaterials offer other promises too.
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Akhlesh Lakhtakia "Huygens, Mackintosh, Dalí, and Medusa: Polarization engineering (and more?)", Proc. SPIE 7782, The Nature of Light: Light in Nature III, 778202 (2 August 2010);

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