One of the most unique properties of light is that it can package information into a signal of zero mass and propagate it at the ultimate speed. It is, however, a daunting challenge to bring photonic devices to the nanometer scale because of the fundamental diffraction limit. Metamaterials can focus light down to the nanoscale and thus enable a family of new nanophotonic devices. Metamaterials, i.e. artificial materials with rationally designed geometry, composition, and arrangement of nanostructured building blocks called meta-“atoms,” are expected to open a gateway to unprecedented electromagnetic properties and functionalities that are unattainable with naturally occurring materials.
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Stewart Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN