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Proceedings Paper

Metamaterials with ultralow index of refraction: properties and applications
Author(s): Brian T. Schwartz; Rafael Piestun
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Paper Abstract

There has been a growing interest in the design and fabrication of composite materials to enhance the flexibility in specifying their optical properties for device applications. Here we show that metamaterials composed of metal-dielectric nano-structures can be engineered to have an effective refractive index below unity at optical wavelengths. These materials show intriguing optical properties including total external reflection. Different rigorous and approximate modeling techniques will be compared. We will show a novel approach to derive a realistic value of the effective refractive index from the reflection coefficients of finite slabs. The effect of losses and dispersion will be analyzed in the visible range of frequencies considering the properties of real metals. We explain the differences among ultra-low refractive index metamaterials, photonic bandgap materials, and metals. Finally, we propose the application of these metamaterials to waveguide structures that guide light in air by total external reflection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5218, Complex Mediums IV: Beyond Linear Isotropic Dielectrics, (9 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.506035
Show Author Affiliations
Brian T. Schwartz, Univ. of Colorado/Boulder (United States)
Rafael Piestun, Univ. of Colorado/Boulder (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5218:
Complex Mediums IV: Beyond Linear Isotropic Dielectrics
Martin W. McCall; Graeme Dewar, Editor(s)

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