Active Hybrid Soft Metamaterials

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Hybrid and Composite Crystalline Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 13186

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
1. National Institute of Optics, CNR-INO, and European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, LENS, Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Florence, Italy
2. Physics Department at the University of Calabria and CNR-Nanotech, Via P. Bucci, Arcavacata di Rende, 87036 Cosenza, Italy
Interests: metamaterials fabrication and characterization; plasmonic materials and theory; photonic nanomaterials; active medium modelization; liquid crystals; nanofabrication at high resolution using metamaterials; numerical simulations; two photon direct laser writing, photo-thermal materials; thermoplasmonics; optical metamaterials; ENZ optical nanocavities theory; realization and characterization

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Physics Department at the University of Calabria and CNR-Nanotech, Via P. Bucci, 87036, Arcavacata di Rende, Cosenza, Italy
2. Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, China
Interests: liquid crystals; active plasmonics; thermoplasmonics; metamaterials; optics and photonics; policryps fabrication and characterization; fundamental studies of optics

E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
National Institute of Optics, CNR-INO, and European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, LENS, Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Florence, Italy
Interests: liquid crystals; photonic crystals; optics and photonics; complex systems; guided wave optics; disorder crystals; optical cryptography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to present our Special Issue focused on the increasing implementation of metamaterials (MMs) with smart materials that can introduce tunability to their exotic properties. The interest in this research field is growing quite rapidly with the effect of replacing bulky and thick components throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, from optics to the microwave regime passing from terahertz to visible frequencies. This interest arises from the outstanding properties of tunable metasurfaces and metamaterials which are an ultrathin planar medium composed of subwavelength dielectric or metallic elements able to drastically change their optical response. On the other hand, a paramount role is played by the fundamental dispersion relations that are found at each metal–dielectric interface. An example is surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) or the gap surface plasmons (GSPs) generated in these devices: the hybridization of MMs with active media such as Liquid Crystals (LCs) can drastically modify the way SPPs and GSPs arise, and the high birefringence of LCs enables the control and tunability of plasmonic interfaces. Indeed, the key to realizing novel breakthrough applications and systems today is the introduction of active controls and reconfigurability of MMs features. This is possible, for instance, by means of external stimuli that change the dielectric response of the medium surrounding the MM. In the case of LCs, an externally applied electric field can modify the molecular director  orientation. A variety of materials modify their optical properties upon thermal (e.g., VO2) or magnetic stimuli (magnetoplasmonic particles). Finally, the optical response of phase-change GST materials (GeSbTe) is determined by their degree of crystallization. In this scenario, the proposed Special Issue aims to connect researchers with expertise in different technological areas, focusing their attention on recent theoretical and experimental results.

This Special Issue addresses the following main topics, but it is not strictly limited to:

  • General aspect of tunable metasurfaces and metamaterials;
  • Metamaterial properties tunable by means of liquid crystals;
  • Metamaterial properties tunable by external stimuli (electric, thermal, magnetic, etc.);
  • Surface plasmon polaritons and gap surface polaritons at the plasmonic interface through an active medium;
  • Phase change materials (e.g., GeSbTe);
  • UV-Vis-NIR, Terahertz, microwave liquid crystal metamaterials/metasurfaces;
  • New frontiers on liquid crystals;
  • Numerical simulations focused on tunable materials exploiting liquid crystals;
  • Semiconductor 2D metamaterials combined with liquid crystals and/or active media;
  • 2D materials such as crystals or photonic crystals;
  • Nonlinear optical properties induced by LCs, doped LCs, and metamaterials;
  • High refractive index single layer materials (such as MoS2, WS2, etc.) or exotic bulky metasurfaces (a-Si:H, SiNx:H, SiCx:H, etc.).

Dr. Giuseppe Emanuele Lio
Prof. Dr. Roberto Caputo
Dr. Francesco Riboli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • tunable metamaterials
  • birefringence
  • smart metamaterials
  • plasmonic resonances
  • metacrystals

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 8991 KiB  
Article
Numerical Modeling of 3D Chiral Metasurfaces for Sensing Applications
by Alexa Guglielmelli, Giuseppe Nicoletta, Liliana Valente, Giovanna Palermo and Giuseppe Strangi
Crystals 2022, 12(12), 1804; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12121804 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2770
Abstract
Sensitivity and specificity in biosensing platforms remain key aspects to enable an effective technological transfer. Considerable efforts have been made to design sensing platforms capable of controlling light–matter interaction at the nanoscale. Here, we numerically investigated how a 3D out-of-plane chiral plasmonic metasurface [...] Read more.
Sensitivity and specificity in biosensing platforms remain key aspects to enable an effective technological transfer. Considerable efforts have been made to design sensing platforms capable of controlling light–matter interaction at the nanoscale. Here, we numerically investigated how a 3D out-of-plane chiral plasmonic metasurface can be used as a key element in a sensing platform, by exploiting the variation in the plasmonic and lattice modes as a function of the refractive index of the surrounding medium. The results indicate that chiral metasurfaces can be used to perform sensing, by detecting the refractive index change with a maximum sensitivity of 761 nm/RIU. The metasurface properties can be suitably designed to maximize the optical response in terms of the shift, modulated by the refractive index of the analyte molecules. Such studies can pave the way for engineering and fabricating highly selective and specific chiral metasurface-based refractive index sensing platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Hybrid Soft Metamaterials)
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20 pages, 2230 KiB  
Article
Electromagnetic Metasurfaces: Insight into Evolution, Design and Applications
by Khushboo Singh, Foez Ahmed and Karu Esselle
Crystals 2022, 12(12), 1769; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12121769 - 06 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3143
Abstract
Metasurfaces have emerged as game-changing technology ranging from microwaves to optics. This article provides a roadmap to the evolution of electromagnetic metasurfaces with a focus on their synthesis techniques, materials used for their design and their recent and futuristic applications. A broad classification [...] Read more.
Metasurfaces have emerged as game-changing technology ranging from microwaves to optics. This article provides a roadmap to the evolution of electromagnetic metasurfaces with a focus on their synthesis techniques, materials used for their design and their recent and futuristic applications. A broad classification is provided, and the design principle is elaborated. The efficient and economical use of available computational resources is imperative to work with state-of-the-art metasurface systems. Hence, optimization becomes an integral part of metasurface design. Several optimization methodologies reported to date have been discussed. An extensive study on the current research database gathered a comprehensive understanding of meta-atom topologies and the preferred fabrication technologies. The study concludes with a critical analysis and highlights existing and future research challenges to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Hybrid Soft Metamaterials)
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9 pages, 2171 KiB  
Article
Investigation into Micro-Polishing Photonic Crystal Fibers for Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensing
by Qingmin Liu, Junpeng Chen, Shanglin Hou and Jingli Lei
Crystals 2022, 12(8), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12081106 - 06 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
In this work, we propose and demonstrate a micro-polishing-fiber (MPF)-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor. The structure of the sensor is simple and consists of three layers of regular air holes and two small air holes. The sensitivity seldom depends on the sizes [...] Read more.
In this work, we propose and demonstrate a micro-polishing-fiber (MPF)-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor. The structure of the sensor is simple and consists of three layers of regular air holes and two small air holes. The sensitivity seldom depends on the sizes of the air holes, which leads to a sensor with high structure tolerance. A tiny polishing depth ensures the mechanical strength of the polished fiber. There are three decisive factors for mass production and application of the sensor. A thin layer of indium tin oxide (ITO) film is applied to the polished surface to excite plasmonic interactions and facilitate refractive index (RI) detection. The SPR sensor is designed and analyzed by the finite element method (FEM), and optimized in terms of the air holes’ diameter, the ITO film thickness, and the core-to-surface interval. In the wide detection range between 1.32 and 1.39, the wavelength sensitivity can reach up to 11,600 nm/RIU. The MPF–SPR sensor exhibits great potential in the fields of optics, biomedicine, and chemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Hybrid Soft Metamaterials)
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14 pages, 9205 KiB  
Article
Dual-Mechanism Absorptive Metasurface with Wideband 20 dB RCS Reduction
by Fang Yuan, Qiang Chen, Yuejun Zheng and Yunqi Fu
Crystals 2022, 12(4), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12040493 - 02 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1923
Abstract
This paper presents a dual-mechanism method to design a single-layer absorptive metasurface with wideband 20 dB RCS reduction by simultaneously combining the absorption and phase cancellation mechanisms. The metasurface comprises two kinds of absorbing unit cells with 10 dB absorption performance but different [...] Read more.
This paper presents a dual-mechanism method to design a single-layer absorptive metasurface with wideband 20 dB RCS reduction by simultaneously combining the absorption and phase cancellation mechanisms. The metasurface comprises two kinds of absorbing unit cells with 10 dB absorption performance but different reflection phases. The impedance condition for 20 dB RCS reduction is theoretically analyzed considering both the absorption and the phase cancellation based on the two unit cells, and the relationship between the surface impedance and the reflection phase/amplitude is revealed. According to these analyses, two unit cells with absorption performance and different reflection phases are designed and utilized to realize the absorptive metasurface. Numerical and experimental results show that the single-layer absorptive metasurface features wideband 20 dB RCS within 11.5–16 GHz with a thickness of only 3 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Hybrid Soft Metamaterials)
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10 pages, 3422 KiB  
Communication
Investigation of Lattice Plasmon Modes in 2D Arrays of Au Nanoantennas
by Antonio Ferraro, Joseph Marae Djouda, Giuseppe Emanuele Lio, Gaëtan Lévêque, Pierre-Michel Adam, Cesare Paolo Umeton, Thomas Maurer and Roberto Caputo
Crystals 2022, 12(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12030336 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2676
Abstract
The coupling of gold nanoantennas (AuNAs) in the arrangement of monomers in bidimensional gratings is investigated both experimentally and numerically. The influence of edge diffraction, corresponding to the grazing propagation of specific diffracted orders, and the dependence of grating parameters on lattice plasmon [...] Read more.
The coupling of gold nanoantennas (AuNAs) in the arrangement of monomers in bidimensional gratings is investigated both experimentally and numerically. The influence of edge diffraction, corresponding to the grazing propagation of specific diffracted orders, and the dependence of grating parameters on lattice plasmon modes are studied. It is shown that the grating pitch influences the spectral position of the Rayleigh wavelength related to the grazing diffraction in air and/or in glass. In order to investigate the effect of diffraction and its interplay with the Rayleigh wavelength, extinction measurements with different incidence angles are carried out. For incidence angles above θ=20, along with the excitation of quadrupolar and vertical modes, very narrow dips or sharp excitations are observed in the spectra. These ones strongly depend on the respective spectral position of Rayleigh anomaly and specific dipolar mode, on the propagation direction of the grazing diffraction, and on the considered plasmon mode. These features are explained in the light of numerical calculations obtained with Green’s tensor method. All the above different characteristics and couplings are of great practical interest, especially for a possible implementation in biosensor devices and for other technological applications spanning from precision medicine and life science to telecommunications and energy systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Hybrid Soft Metamaterials)
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