Photonics is experiencing a revolution of its own due to digital manufacturing techniques such as multi-photon lithography. Today’s photonic devices are mostly planar, primarily because of manufacturing constraints. Research in the EM Lab is pioneering new photonic technologies that fully exploit the new degrees of freedom offered by digital manufacturing.
Spatially-Variant Photonic Crystals
Periodic structures like metamaterials and photonic crystals exhibit extraordinary properties. The EMLab discovered even more profound ways to control light when the lattices are varied as a function of position. In collaboration with the University of Central Florida, a world record was set for the tightest bend of an unguided optical beam and this was achieved using inexpensive materials with a low refractive index. The technology is currently being applied to develop photon funnels, embedded lenses, and new types of optical elements operating without refraction.
Learning Resources for Spatially Variant Crystals
- Independent Control of Phase and Power in Spatially Variant Self-Collimating Photonic Crystals
- Tight Control of Light Beams in Photonic Crystals with Spatially Variant Lattice Orientation
- Optimization of Planar Self-Collimating Photonic Crystals
- 3D Printed Lattices with Spatially Variant Self-Collimation
Metasurfaces provide a way to make optical elements like lenses thin, light and very compact. The EMLab is developing tools to simulate and design new types of metasurfaces. The research includes hybridizing ray tracing with rigorous simulation techniques, exploration of volumetric elements, and more.
Scattering at the Interface Between Two Complex Media
The EMLab was the first to analyze scattering at the interface between two media that can each have a complex permittivity, complex permeability, loss or gain, positive or negative refractive index, and positive or negative impedance. The derived equations are simpler than those in the literature and obey conservation of power without including additional terms in the equations. The equations can be used to analyze scattering from metamaterials or to benchmark simulations of metamaterial devices. This study produced many surprising conclusions such as complex angles, non-zero transmission during supposed total internal reflection, and Brewster’s angle not producing pure polarization.
See our work in this area
- Asad Gulib, Edgar Bustamante, and Raymond C. Rumpf, “Scattering at the interface between two mediums with complex permittivity and complex permeability,” submitted to PIER, 14 Feb 2022.
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