Structuration of the matter at the nano-scale offers unprecedented flexibility for controlling and manipulating light, by giving for instance access to near-zero or negative index of refraction or by allowing the design of new planar optical components. The optical properties of these artificial components (called meta-materials or meta-surfaces for respectively three-dimensional or two-dimensional structures) are derived both from the inherent properties of their constitutive elements as well as the geometrical arrangement of these elements at a scale smaller than or similar to the wavelength of the optical field.
This course begins by some fundamentals on the optical properties of dielectrics and metals, and by some recalls on the mathematical definition of the refractive index and the requirements imposed to this quantity by causality constraint and dissipation condition. The complex admittance formalism is then used to describe the optical properties of different types of metamaterials such as fishnet structures, metal-dielectric multilayer stacks or epsilon-near-zero material. We place particular emphasis on the description of some recent examples of achievement, as well as a detailed analysis of the pro and con of three different characterization methods respectively based on the measurement of a spatial shift (near field approach), an angular deviation (far field approach) or a phase delay (interferometric approach). Furthermore, the physical mechanisms required to design efficient all-dielectric meta-surfaces is analyzed and this approach is illustrated through various examples.
This course should enable you to:
- Understand the physical mechanisms that drive the optical properties of these nano-structured materials;
- Identify the potential applications of these entirely new structures, but also some of their main limitations.