Controlling Light With Metamaterials
Metamaterial device developed by Duke University.
The advancement of many technologies brings about their dematerialization. Telecommunications systems greatly benefited from the replacement of heavy wires with optical fibers carrying light, for example.
A recent material developed by a research team at Duke University promises another significant breakthrough—the ability to control light in a similar way that electronics control moving electrons.
A prototype of the team’s “metamaterial” device is composed of parallel fiberglass strips, which intersect with diode-filled copper circles that detect the presence of light. The device effectively doubles the incoming light, directing second harmonic waves as desired by the user.
"The trend in telecommunications is definitely optical," says graduate researcher Alec Rose. "To be able to control light in the same manner that electronics control currents will be an important step in transforming telecommunications technologies."