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Proceedings Paper

Diffractive optical elements made from photonic metamaterials
Author(s): Thomas Pertsch; Benny Walther; Stefan Fasold; Matthias Falkner; Christoph Menzel; Isabelle Staude; Carsten Rockstuhl
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Paper Abstract

The excitation of surface plasmon polaritons in metallic nanostructures significantly enhances light-matter interactions at sub-wavelength scales. This enables novel optical effects that rely on artificial materials, so-called metamaterials. Metamaterials are made from densely packed and sufficiently small nanostructured unit cells. The purpose of metamaterials is to act comparable to bulk materials but with effective properties that can be tailored by the geometry of the unit cells. However, recently it became obvious that many appealing applications are already in reach by employing an ultrathin layer of metamaterial. Exploiting the metamaterials’ primary optical properties in the form of their dispersive complex reflection and transmission coefficients, single functional layers instead of bulk metamaterials are already sufficient for achieving sophisticated device properties. In particular, if the unit cells change across the functional layer, a new class of devices can be perceived that shape the light in the far-field according to predefined patterns. These metamaterial layers, usually referred to as metasurfaces, possess major advantages when compared to traditional optical elements. Here, we provide an overview of the burgeoning field of research that explores metasurfaces to affect an incident field spatially and spectrally in a deterministic way to enable functional diffractive optical elements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 2015
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 9626, Optical Systems Design 2015: Optical Design and Engineering VI, 962604 (23 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2195726
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas Pertsch, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Benny Walther, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Stefan Fasold, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Matthias Falkner, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Christoph Menzel, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Isabelle Staude, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Carsten Rockstuhl, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9626:
Optical Systems Design 2015: Optical Design and Engineering VI
Laurent Mazuray; Rolf Wartmann; Andrew P. Wood, Editor(s)

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