In the last decade, a new area of photonics research has emerged, involving materials with entirely novel electromagnetic properties. Known as metamaterials for their ability to extend beyond conventional materials the field has potential in a plethora of applications, where control over light (or more generally electromagnetic radiation) is a prominent ingredient. These include telecommunications, solar energy harvesting, biological and THz imaging and sensing, optical isolators and polarizers. In this interview, Costas M. Soukoulis introduces the field, reviews recent progress, and highlights current challenges and opportunities.
Soukoulis is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Frances M. Craig Endowed Chair at Iowa State University and Senior Physicist at Ames Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the APS, OSA, and AAAS. He received the senior Humboldt Research Award in 2002 and the European Union René Descartes Prize in 2005. He was interviewed at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August, 2010.