High performance tunable absorbers for terahertz (THz) frequencies will be crucial in advancing applications such as single-pixel imaging and spectroscopy. Metamaterials provide many new possibilities for manipulating electromagnetic waves at the subwavelength scale. Due to the limited response of natural materials to terahertz radiation, metamaterials in this frequency band are of particular interest.
The realization of a high-performance tunable (THz) absorber based on microelectromechanical system (MEMS) is challenging, primarily due to the severe mismatch between the actuation range of most MEMS (on the order of 1-10 microns) and THz wavelengths on the order of 100-1000 microns. Based on a metamaterial design that has an electromagnetic response that is extremely position sensitive, we combine meta-atoms with suspended at membranes that can be driven electrostatically. This is demonstrated by using near-field coupling of the meta-atoms to create a substantial change in the resonant frequency.
The devices created in this manner are among the best-performing tunable THz absorbers demonstrated to date, with an ultrathin device thickness ( 1/50 of the working wavelength), absorption varying between 60% and 80% in the initial state when the membranes remain suspended, and with a fast switching speed ( 27 us). In the snap-down state, the resonance shifts by γ >200% of the linewidth (14% of the initial resonance frequency), and the absorption modulation measured at the initial resonance can reach 65%.
Proc. SPIE. 10103, Terahertz, RF, Millimeter, and Submillimeter-Wave Technology and Applications X
KEYWORDS: Metamaterials, Resonators, Wavefronts, Control systems, Polarization control, Microwave radiation, Technologies and applications, Electromagnetism, Flexible displays, Current controlled current source
Metasurfaces represent the most promising class of metamaterials for real applications, whereby arbitrary wavefront and polarisation control can be achieved using just a single sub-wavelength layer. Therefore, allowing tunability over their capabilities is the next step to consolidate them as technology devices for light control. In our work we propose a new platform for creating tunable microwave devices based on gradient metasurfaces. Our study shows that the integration of a patterned elastic substrate in the design of functional metasurfaces is an effective approach to enable control over their electromagnetic properties.
To demonstrate the new platform, we propose, design and experimentally realize a novel tuning mechanism that controls the focal length of an electromagnetic metasurface lens by exploiting the degree of freedom provided by the flexible substrate, which enables continuous elongation of the system. When such a metasurface is uniaxially stretched, the distance between embedded electromagnetic resonators increases, producing a change in the phase profile created by these resonators, and this leads to a change of the focal distance of the lens. Thus, the flexible metasurface displays a functionality that can be continuously controlled by unidirectional mechanical loading. We fully characterize the spherical-like aberration phenomenon which accompanies the tuning process. Finally, our study reveals that an equidistant separation between the resonators leads to reduced device performance of the operational metasurface and, therefore, the utilization of other degrees of freedom is mandatory if the efficiency needs to be preserved.
Metamaterials are subwavelength man-made plasmonic or dielectric structures designed to realize specific effects on the electromagnetic radiation interacting with the material. Here we aim to rotate the polarization of an incident terahertz beam using chiral metamaterials, while suppressing the circular dichroism which induces ellipticity of the output beam. An incident linearly polarized wave can be decomposed into left-circularly and right-circularly polarized waves, and the difference in propagation phase will result in rotation of the plane of polarization. Since chiral structures couple electric and magnetic fields, they are often implemented in complex geometries such as spirals or bi-layered plasmonic structures, which can achieve carefully balanced responses to the two fields. The important feature of the bi-layered plasmonic structure is the cross-coupling between the resonances of the two layers. It is precisely this coupling between the layers that induces currents in the structures that are mutually dependent producing chirality within the structure. By coupling a metallic structure to its complement, we are able to achieve strong transmission in the region of maximum polarization rotation, and relatively low ellipticity of the output state. Three different structures were fabricated for this work that will be referred to as: the plain crosses, crossed arrowheads, and crossed arcs, pictured in the figure below. The terahertz responses of the structures were compared using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and numerical simulations using CST Microwave Studio software.
Many nanophotonic systems are strongly coupled to radiating waves, or suffer significant dissipative losses. Furthermore, they may have complex shapes which are not amenable to closed form calculations. This makes it challenging to determine their modes without resorting to quasi-static or point dipole approximations. To solve this problem, the quasi-normal modes (QNMs) are found from an integral equation model of the particle. These give complex frequencies where excitation can be supported without any incident field. The corresponding eigenvectors yield the modal distributions, which are non-orthogonal due to the non-Hermitian nature of the system. The model based on quasi-normal modes is applied to plasmonic and dielectric particles, and compared with a spherical multipole decomposition. Only with the QNMs is it possible to resolve all features of the extinction spectrum, as each peak in the spectrum can be attributed to a particular mode. In contrast, many of the multipole coefficient have multiple peaks and dips. Furthermore, by performing a multipolar decomposition of each QNM, the spectrum of multipole coefficients is explained in terms of destructive interference between modes of the same multipole order.
We systematically study both experimentally and theoretically the links between the lattice symmetries of metasurfaces and their optical properties at both normal and oblique illumination. We attribute different symmetry elements to number of polarization phenomena. In particular, we predict analytically and verify experimentally the influence of rotational axes, mirror planes and inversion centres on optical activity, circular dichroism and asymmetric transmission. We fabricate and test nanostructured optical metasurfaces with four different inner structures: square and hexagonal lattices, quasicrystalline layout, and amorphous arrangement. We demonstrate the ability to enhance/suppress particular optical response by appropriate choice of the metasurface’s symmetry.
We demonstrate the use of liquid crystal infiltration of fishnet structures for the realization of highly tunable and
nonlinear optical metamaterials. We show that fishnet metamaterials infiltrated with nematic liquid crystals can exhibit
strong nonlinear response at moderate laser powers. We also show that this nonlinear response arises due to the
molecular orientation of the liquid crystal molecules and can be therefore be fine-tuned with an electric field, opening
new opportunities for electrically tunable nonlinear metamaterials.
We discuss a novel tuning method based on continuous adjustment of metamaterial lattice parameters. This
method provides for remarkable tuning of transmission characteristics through a subtle displacement of metamaterial
layers. While the effective medium theory predicts correctly the general tuning characteristics, it turns
out that the particular tuning pattern is determined by the peculiarities of near-field interaction between the
metamaterial elements. We describe the modes of this interaction and provide qualitative explanations to the
performance observed numerically and experimentally.
In this paper, the design of a thin film thermoelectric microcooler module is examined. The module consists of n-type bismuth telluride and p-type antimony telluride thermoelectric materials. The commercial software CFD-ACE+ is used to implement and analyse the model. A two-dimensional coupled electrical and thermal synthesis was performed. The influence of the thickness of the thermoelectric materials on the change in temperature has been investigated. The thickness of the thermoelements was varied between 0.5 and 20 μm. The device performance in terms of change in temperature with and without a load has been studied. The optimal thickness for the thermoelements was found to be 2μm. At 30mA, a temperature difference of 3K below ambient was obtained.
A multi-layered surface acoustic wave (SAW) transducer employing an R.F. magnetron sputtered tungsten trioxide (WO3) thin film as a selective layer, for low concentration nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas sensing is presented. The layered SAW device structure is fabricated on a 36° Y-cut, X-propagating LiTaO3 substrate with a zinc oxide (ZnO) guiding layer. The dominant mode of acoustic propagation in the sensor is a combination of mainly a shear and a longitudinal displacement types. Such a structure has the advantage of confining the acoustic wave energy to the surface of the device, which increases the sensitivity of the system. A frequency shift of 30 kHz is shown for a concentration of 500ppb of NO2 in synthetic air, highlighting the possibility of such a sensor being targeted towards the sub-ppb levels of NO2.
A finite-element method is employed to model layered Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) two port delay lines, with a zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film guiding layer. The structure is based on x-cut, y-propagating LiNbO3 substrate. Conditions that model the realistic electrical and mechanical boundary values are applied to the structure to analyze the electromechanical properties of the SAW device. Transient analyses are performed and the frequency responses are calculated using the FFT. Simulation results show good agreement with experimental results, indicating that a finite-element method is an appropriate approach for modeling layered SAW devices.