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MetaMaterials ORganized for radio, millimeter wave, and PHOtonic Superlattice Engineering

Final Report Summary - METAMORPHOSE (Metamaterials organized for radio, millimeter wave and photonic superlative engineering)

The main integration objectives of the METAMORHOSE of Network of Excellence's (NoEs) project pertained to the design and implementation of a Virtual institute (VI) which was used in order to plan and organise a joint research as well as utilise and disseminate new knowledge. A mature scientific community should be established that would launch Integrated Projects (IP) such as Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPs) and other joint projects in strategically targeted areas. A programme for personnel mobility of researches should be created as well as an international Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme which programmes would include web-based learning tools and an information platform. In addition, the virtual institute should establish and maintain a mechanism for common use of research facilities and manage regular scientific conferences and workshops as well as edit a related-field scientific journal.

The main scientific objective of the partners of this consortium was to develop new types of artificial materials, often referred to as metamaterials, with electromagnetic properties that cannot be found amongst natural materials. The results of this development should lead to a conceptually new range of radio, microwave and optical technologies, based on revolutionary new materials which are made by large-scale assembly of some basic elements (nanoscopic and microscopic) in novel combinations.

Electromagnetic metamaterials will play a key role in providing new functionalities and enhancements to future electronic devices and components such as high-speed circuits, multi-functional smart miniature antennas and apertures, high-resolution imaging systems as well as smart skins, and so on. These systems and others, as well, are built on substrates and superstrates whose electromagnetic response functions dictate their design and performance.

Metamaterials are in essence the materials of the future since the main purpose of their study was to enable us to go beyond the point where the research of the naturally occurring substances and current materials had led us up to that point in time. The combination of different microscopic elements into large-scale designs would enable not only the development of materials with fundamentally new properties but also the fabrication of others that have properties on demand, as new technologies dictate. Specifically, new electromagnetic properties would allow controlling microwaves, millimetre waves as well as optical light in revolutionary ways.

The integration procedure was performed in four major phases:
I) concept development;
II) design document;
III) design and pilot implementation;
IV) full implementation.

The duration of each phase was one year. These phases led towards the design of a permanent organisation which is the virtual institute. The virtual institute fends for:
- the sharing of equipment and facilities;
- the joint research;
- the spreading of excellence.