With the dramatic advances in micro- and nano-fabrication methods, we are presented with the opportunity to control light in a way that was not possible with the materials provided to us by nature. In an artificial pattern of sub-wavelength elements, the propagation of electromagnetic energy can be defined by an equivalent spatial and spectral dispersion of effective dielectric and magnetic properties. Transformation optics (TO) is a new paradigm for the science of light, which is enabled by recent developments in our fabrication capabilities with respect to metamaterial-based devices. TO is based on the invariance of Maxwell’s equations with respect to coordinate transformations, provided that the basic optical parameters of materials, dielectric permittivity ε(r) and magnetic permeability µ(r), are also transformed appropriately. This makes possible molding and controlling light on all scales, from macroscopic sizes down to the deeply sub-wavelength scale. My project aims to study the fundamentals of the emerging area of TO through the use of novel metamaterial-based devices. These photonic elements hold the promise for establishing new paradigms in integrated photonics by enabling an unprecedented control of light. We will develop both the simulation tools and the fabrication processes for creating a new-generation of planar magnifying hyperlenses and light concentrators. While the first components are fundamentally useful in order to image below the diffraction limit, the latter can be revolutionary for boosting photovoltaic cell efficiency. Following these goals, during the last part of our experimental campaign, our devices will be incorporated in two home-made set-ups; one for the evaluation of the photo-electric efficiency, and the second for the imaging of biological sample carrying sub-wavelength features. Finally, both these two experimental set-ups will be tested and characterized while the figure of merit of our devices will be evaluated.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeMC-IOF - International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)