Metamaterials for Sensing Applications

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2024 | Viewed by 1822

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Precision Optical Engineering, School of Physics Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Interests: optical tweezers; optofluidics; light-matter interactions; metaoptics; biosensing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Physics and Technology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Interests: information optics; optical chip system integration and microfluidics; optofluidic devices; biosensors; on-chip biochemical sensing and environmental detection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to introduce this Special Issue on the subject of metamaterials for sensing applications.

Metamaterials consist of arrays of subwavelength metamolecules, serving as a paradigm for the versatile and multifunctional manipulation of light by steering light amplitude, phase and polarization. They are particularly good at enhancing light–matter interactions, offering to open a new era for sensing applications. A great diversity of applications in sensing with metamaterials have been proposed recently owing to the burgeoning development of nanophotonics. For instance, the bound state in the continuum greatly enlarges the quality factors of optical device and is thus capable of achieving highly sensitive sensing performances. Plasmonic nanostructures, which have long been used for biochemical sensing, focus light at the deep-subwavelength scale and dissipate light into the surrounding medium. Exceptional points, i.e., spectral singularities, offer exceptional advantages in this field by increasing sensitivity exponentially. Many other mechanisms in metamaterials have already manifested themselves in sensing applications, while some are now finding applications for the first time in this field.

This Special Issue of Micromachines is devoted to recent advances in physical, biological, and chemical sensors using metamaterials. Research papers, short communications, and review articles that focus on any periodic structure-assisted sensing applications are warmly welcomed.

We look forward to receiving your exciting contributions.

Prof. Dr. Yuzhi Shi
Prof. Dr. Yi Yang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • metamaterials
  • lab on a chip
  • biological sensing using subwavelength structures
  • chemical sensing using subwavelength structures
  • physical sensing using subwavelength structures
  • optical manipulation using metamaterials
  • optofluidic device
  • light–matter interactions

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1955 KiB  
Article
Design of Far-Infrared High-Efficiency Polarization-Independent Retroreflective Metasurfaces
by Siliang Zhou, Siyu Dong, Tao He, Jingyuan Zhu, Zhanshan Wang and Xinbin Cheng
Micromachines 2024, 15(4), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15040538 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Retroreflective gratings serve as fundamental optical elements in nanophotonics, with polarization-independent diffraction efficiency being one of the critical parameters for assessing their performance. In the far-infrared spectral range, traditional retroreflective gratings typically refer to metal echelette gratings, but their diffraction efficiency cannot approach [...] Read more.
Retroreflective gratings serve as fundamental optical elements in nanophotonics, with polarization-independent diffraction efficiency being one of the critical parameters for assessing their performance. In the far-infrared spectral range, traditional retroreflective gratings typically refer to metal echelette gratings, but their diffraction efficiency cannot approach 100% due to metal absorption. In the visible and near-infrared spectral ranges, metal echelette gratings have gradually been replaced by all-dielectric metasurfaces because dielectric materials exhibit negligible absorption at specific wavelengths. However, there is still a lack of relevant research in the far-infrared range, mainly due to the weak control capability of the existing devices over the polarization-independent phase. Here, we propose a kind of all-dielectric retroreflective metasurface composed of asymmetric pillars and freely tunable aperiodic multilayer films. The pillar structure can achieve polarization insensitivity, and the insufficient modulation capability of the dielectric materials can be compensated for by aperiodic Ge/ZnS films. The designed metasurface achieves the diffraction efficiency by RCWA, with the maximum larger than 99% and the overall reaching 95% (9.3–9.6 µm). We have provided detailed explanations of the design methodology and fabrication process. Our work lays the groundwork for further exploration and application of far-infrared lasers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metamaterials for Sensing Applications)
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19 pages, 5515 KiB  
Article
Particle Swarm Optimization of Multilayer Multi-Sized Metamaterial Absorber for Long-Wave Infrared Polarimetric Imaging
by Junyu Li, Jinzhao Li and Fei Yi
Micromachines 2024, 15(3), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15030319 - 25 Feb 2024
Viewed by 896
Abstract
Infrared polarization imaging holds significant promise for enhancing target recognition in both civil and defense applications. The Division of Focal Plane (DoFP) scheme has emerged as a leading technology in the field of infrared polarization imaging due to its compact design and absence [...] Read more.
Infrared polarization imaging holds significant promise for enhancing target recognition in both civil and defense applications. The Division of Focal Plane (DoFP) scheme has emerged as a leading technology in the field of infrared polarization imaging due to its compact design and absence of moving parts. However, traditional DoFP solutions primarily rely on micro-polarizer arrays, necessitating precise alignment with the focal plane array and leading to challenges in alignment and the introduction of optical crosstalk. Recent research has sought to augment the performance of infrared detectors and enable polarization and spectral selection by integrating metamaterial absorbers with the pixels of the detector. Nevertheless, the results reported so far exhibit shortcomings, including low polarization absorption rates and inadequate polarization extinction ratios. Furthermore, there is a need for a comprehensive figure of merit to systematically assess the performance of polarization-selective thermal detectors. In this study, we employ the particle swarm optimization algorithm to present a multilayer, multi-sized metamaterial absorber capable of achieving a remarkable polarization-selective absorption rate of up to 87.2% across the 8–14 μm spectral range. Moreover, we attain a polarization extinction ratio of 38.51. To elucidate and predict the resonant wavelengths of the structure, we propose a modified equivalent circuit model. Our analysis employs optical impedance matching to unveil the underlying mechanisms responsible for the high absorption. We also introduce a comprehensive figure of merit to assess the efficacy of infrared polarization detection through the integration of metamaterials with microbolometers. Finally, drawing on the proposed figure of merit, we suggest future directions for improving integrated metamaterial absorber designs, with the potential to advance practical mid-infrared polarization imaging technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metamaterials for Sensing Applications)
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