Artificial Magnetism with a Metamaterial
Electricity and magnetism form a partnership that has led to tremendous technological advances which shaped today's civilization. The interplay between electricity and magnetism is also known to be responsible for electromagnetic waves, such as the visible light. However, magnetic effects at optical frequencies are rather weak and the magnetic component of light plays a minor role in the interactions between light and nanoscale materials. Nebraska MRSEC researchers have designed an artificial material, which exhibits strong magnetism at optical frequencies. Such a “metamaterial” is composed of cylindrical silicon posts placed over a quartz substrate, as shown in figure. According to the researchers’ modeling, the designed metamaterial demonstrates strong magnetic properties useful for a plethora of technological applications, such as compact sensors, optical filters, and efficient, ultrathin optical nonlinear devices.
These programs are supported by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, Materials Research Science and Engineering Program, Grant DMR-1420645.
Left: Magnetic metamaterial made of periodic cylindrical silicon (Si) posts placed over a quartz (SiO2) substrate. Right: Circulating electric field distribution inside the silicon posts indicating a magnetic response.
Highlight InfoDate: May 2017