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The Dawn of New Optics: Emerging Metamaterials

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Next-generation materials and new computational and fabrication techniques are reshaping how we think about optics.

VALERIE C. COFFEY, SCIENCE WRITER, [email protected]

An evolutionary computational algorithm calculates an optimized lattice structure for a metalens prototype. Courtesy of Northwestern University. Science has long sought novel or modified materials that could reach beyond the conventional laws of optics to replace bulky glass and polymer optical components with flatter, more robust, lower-cost, stackable ones — perhaps even with subwavelength properties that could benefit virtually every light-enabled device from cellphones to microscopes (Figure 1). One goal of a tunable, isotropic negative-index (left-handed) metamaterial is...Read full article

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