Active Plasmonics and Lossless Metamaterials

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: 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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Hamm JM (2011) Theory of light amplification in active fishnet metamaterials. in Physical review letters

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Hess O (2013) Applied physics. Metamaterials with quantum gain. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

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Hess O (2012) Active nanoplasmonic metamaterials. in Nature materials

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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

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Wuestner S (2012) Dynamics of amplification in a nanoplasmonic metamaterial in Applied Physics A

Description Theoretical demonstration of the possibility and feasibility of loss-compensated metamaterials with a negative refractive index. Concrete designs of such structures as blueprints for experimental prototypes.
Exploitation Route research and advanced manufacturing.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Other

Description The results of the research have been used as a guide for the realisation of loss-compensated nanoplasmonic metamaterials.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education
Impact Types Economic