Meta-materials are engineered materials with electrical, optical, and thermal properties that don’t otherwise exist in nature. These new materials and structures are created by forming a surface pattern (in plane) or with a stack of layers (vertical) of different materials. Often, the wavelength of relevance to the application is much larger than the size of the pattern features or the thickness of the layers, and thus the structure acts like a homogeneous material with new properties that can be controlled by varying the pattern.
We design and fabricate meta-materials to form flat lenses, where the optical property we are engineering is the optical phase across the sample, replicating the behavior of a conventional lens that bends optical rays by varying the material thickness. Because we control the pattern, we create a “metalens” that improves the performance of existing optical systems or reduces their footprint, or both.
We invent novel surface texturing that improves the optical performance of coatings, compared to existing approaches for high-reflectivity and high damage threshold.
Our meta-materials are also used to create optical filters and dichroic beam splitters that are less temperature and angle dependent than conventional optical filters.
We also use meta-material techniques to tailor material emissivity for applications such as thermo-photovoltaics (TPV) and spacecraft thermal control.