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Bioinspired Metamaterial Shows Potential for Optical Devices, Energy Harvesting, Signature Management

Synthetic microspheres with nanoscale holes can absorb light from all directions across a wide range of frequencies, making them a candidate for antireflective coatings, according to a team of Penn State engineers. The synthetic spheres also explain how the leaf hopper insect uses similar particles to hide from predators in its environment. “We knew our

Guiding Light: Sandia Creates 3-D Metasurfaces With Optical Possibilities

Metamaterials don’t exist in nature, but their ability to make ultra-thin lenses and ultra-efficient cell phone antennas, bend light to keep satellites cooler and let photovoltaics absorb more energy mean they offer a world of possibilities. Formed by nanostructures that act as “atoms,” arranged on a substrate to alter light’s path in ways no ordinary

Zero-Index Platforms: Where Light Defies Geometry

Geometry-invariant effects in structures with near-zero permittivity or permeability could lead to deformable optical devices, and to new insights into unique light-matter interactions. Light and electromagnetic fields can propagate in vacuum at the maximal speed achievable—the speed of light. This characteristic, while invaluable for fast, long-range communications systems, also raises challenges for control and manipulation,