Active Plasmonics and Lossless Metamaterials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: ATI Physics


Metal surfaces can support so called surface plasmons, density waves of free electrons. These plasmon waves can interact with light, opening the way to a novel area of optics, namely plasmonics. When the metal surface is nanostructured, a possibility for true nanoscale optics emerges. In this work we aim to alleviate or even remove the unavoidable absorption losses caused by the metal by amplifying the plasmon waves with semiconductor quantum wells and dots, thus demonstrating low-loss plasmonic components. They will be designed by novel electromagnetic simulation methods developed during the project, running on a supercomputer cluster. We will also use this approach to design and fabricate novel wide-band low-loss or even lossless metamaterials, highly promising structures with a negative refractive index that can for example slow or even stop incoming light pulses.


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Wuestner S (2011) Gain and plasmon dynamics in active negative-index metamaterials. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

Description our work proved the possibility of realising gain-enhance waveguide structures and metamaterials that exhibit a negative refractive index and demonstrated the possibility of loss-compensation in these realistic structures
Exploitation Route optimisation of metamaterial structures and incorporation of efficient gain materials
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education

Description our foundational theory of gain-enhanced metanaterials as developed within this award have become a standard in the field and are now widely accepted as the most comprehensive approach.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education
Impact Types Economic