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Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)
College, School or Department Name
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Metamaterials are artificial materials that exhibit properties, such as negative index of refraction, that are not possible through natural materials. Due to many potential applications of negative index metamaterials, significant progress in the field has been observed in the last decade. However, achieving negative index at visible frequencies is a challenging task. Generally, fishnet metamaterials are considered as a possible route to achieve negative index in the visible spectrum. However, so far no metamaterial has been demonstrated to exhibit simultaneously negative permittivity and permeability (double-negative) beyond the red region of the visible spectrum. This study is mainly focused on achieving higher operating frequency for low-loss, double-negative metamaterials. Two double-negative metamaterials have been proposed to operate at highest reported frequencies.
The first proposed metamaterial is based on the interaction of surface plasmon polaritons of a thin metal film with localized surface plasmons of a metallic array placed close to the thin film. It is demonstrated that the metamaterial can easily be scaled to operate at any frequency in the visible spectrum as well as possibly to the ultraviolet spectrum. Furthermore, the underlying physical phenomena and possible future extensions of the metamaterial are also investigated.
The second proposed metamaterial is a modification to the so-called fishnet metamaterial. It has been demonstrated that this ‘modified fishnet’ exhibits two double-negative bands in the visible spectrum with highest operating frequency in the green region with considerably high figure of merit. In contrast to most of the fishnet metamaterials proposed in the past, behavior of this modified fishnet is independent of polarization of the incident field.
In addition to the two negative index metamaterials proposed in this study, the use of metamaterial as a spacer, named as metaspacer, is also investigated. In contrast to naturally available dielectric spacers used in microfabrication, metaspacers can be realized with any (positive or negative) permittivity and permeability. As an example, the use of a negative index metaspacer in place of the dielectric layer in a fishnet metamaterial is investigated. It is shown that fishnet based on negative index metaspacer gives many improved optical properties over the conventional fishnet such as wider negative index band, higher figure of merit, higher optical transmission and stronger magnetic response. In addition to the improved properties, following interesting features were observed in the metaspacer based fishnet metamaterial. At the resonance frequency, the shape of the permeability curve was ‘inverted’ as compared to that for conventional fishnet metamaterial. Furthermore, dependence of the resonance frequency on the fishnet geometry was also reversed. Moreover, simultaneously negative group and phase velocities were observed in the low-loss region of the metaspacer based fishnet metamaterial. Due to interesting features observed using metaspacer, this study will open a new horizon for the metamaterial research.
Aslam, Muhammad Imran, "Negative index metamaterials and metaspacers for optical frequencies", Dissertation, Michigan Technological University, 2012.