Reconfigurable meta-surfaces and meta-materials


Today it is possible to engineer the building blocks (meta-atoms) of artificial materials (meta-materials) with feature sizes smaller than the wavelength of light. The ability to design the meta-atoms in a largely arbitrary fashion adds a new degree of freedom in material engineering, allowing to create artificial materials with unusual electro-magnetic properties rare or absent in nature. Achieving tunable, switchable and non-linear functionalities of meta-materials at individual meta-atom level will lead to additional flexibility in designing tunable active photonic devices. Active tunability, switching or non-linearity of meta-material properties can be achieved by electro-optical, electromagnetic or micro-electromechanical altering of the meta-atom materials. These include among others, meta-materials based phase-change materials. Within this research focus area, we focus on developing appropriate numerical methods to study hybrid meta-material structures containing phase-change materials at the meta-atom level with a goal to develop novel reconfigurable and switchable media for visible and infra-red frequencies. Meta-atoms based on plasmon polaritonic or phonon polaritonic materials are considered depending on the application spectral range. We develop appropriate theoretical and numerical models of phase transition kinetics. The developed models are self-consistently coupled with the full wave electromagnetic and heat transfer solvers. Develop methods are used to design meta-surface based tunable optoelectronics components.