Previous Seed Projects

Dielectric Mechano-Opto-Magnetic Metamaterials

Christos Argyropoulos (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Stephen Morin (Chemistry)

Magnetic effects at optical frequencies are relatively weak and the magnetic component of light plays a minor role in light–matter interactions. The recent discovery of subwavelength metallic magnetic metamaterials has broken this traditional understanding and could potentially lead to the induction of strong ‘artificial’ magnetism at optical frequencies. Magnetic metamaterials are artificially constructed structures able to exhibit strong ‘artificial’ magnetism at optical frequencies even though the involved materials do not present microscopic magnetization and their magnetic permeability is strictly unitary.

The goal of this Seed project is to investigate alternative new magnetic metamaterial designs based on clusters of dielectric nanoparticles. The project has three specific objectives:

  1. We will design and optimize, using electromagnetic simulations, new, all-dielectric magnetic metamaterials (“artificial magnets”).
  2. We will fabricate and test the performance of these structures.
  3. We will use these fundamental understandings to guide the design of systems with mechano-optical-magnetic properties.

The proposed all-dielectric magnetic metamaterial designs are expected to exhibit enhanced artificial magnetism and ultrasharp magnetic Fano scattering or transmission resonances in the visible range. These metamaterials will have several advantages: (i) low absorption at optical frequencies, (ii) feature sizes/periodicities practical to fabrication, and (iii) performance tunable with mechanical stimuli (so called “mechano-opto-magnetic” functionality). We will design and optimize these “artificial magnets” using electromagnetic simulations and, then, we will fabricate and test their performance. We will also investigate the effect of mechanical stresses on their performance leading to the realization of reconfigurable mechano-opto-magnetic metamaterials. Several applications are envisioned based on the proposed devices, including compact sensors, optical filters, and efficient, ultrathin optical nonlinear devices.

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