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Method for making marvellous Metamaterials
12 Jul '13

Metamaterials have all kinds of funky properties. Most famously they can be used as 'invisibility cloaks' and can have a negative refractive index. Potential applications include super-lenses, beam steerers, modulators, band-pass filters and antenna systems. [1]

Metamaterials consist of hierarchically organised periodic structures (on micro/nanometer length scales according to the wavelength of light). 

Svaya's nanoreactor technology, since it allows control the size, density and (most importantly) 3D distribution of metallic and semiconductor nanoparticles could be used for bottom-up construction of metamaterials. 

"If you want a bulk metamaterial for visible and infrared light, you need to embed particles of silver or gold inside a dielectric, and you need to do it in 3D, with high resolution." [2]

 Metamaterials are currently made by a number of techniques, mostly based on nanolithography.

[2] Kevin Vora, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Gabriel Mecklenburg on Jul 19, 2013

Hm, very interesting. The quote certainly seems to make this a great use-case. A few questions that come to mind at first blush:

  • How precise does the location of the particles need to be defined? What 3D pattern are we looking to generate? 
  • How thick would the film have to be in order to create a useful metamaterial?
Definitely intrigued to hear a bit more about this one.

This contribution has won an assist marble
Simon Bayly on Jul 22, 2013
That's a question for a physicist or materials scientist...
Simon Bayly on Aug 22, 2013
Some structures mentioned here:
Alan Tennant on Jul 20, 2013

If plausible, certainly kickass :-)

Simon Bayly on Aug 22, 2013

The most accessible application for metamaterials is probably Superlenses. Here's a layered UV planar lens

Simon Bayly on Aug 22, 2013

Zhang lab at Berkeley is a leader in metamaterials