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Center for Metamaterials (CfM)

Clarkson University

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Last Reviewed: 01/10/2020

The Center for Metamaterials provides a facility for the design, fabrication, and testing of a wide range of metamaterials.

Center Mission and Rationale

The mission of the Center is to advance fundamental and applied metamaterials research, development, and technology transfer through strong industry/university collaborations. The researchers at the Center focus on industry-relevant, precompetitive research topics jointly identified by university and industry participants, and include metamaterials processing, testing, and device development. The projects advance the knowledge base for metamaterials through precompetitive research that will directly benefit Center members through shared knowledge and intellectual property. The intent is to nurture long-term relationships and collaborations among the university, industry, and government laboratories. Members participating in the Center share in research and development, laboratory infrastructure, and the resulting economic benefits.

Research program

Active Metamaterials

We propose to explore this riich area of fundamental research of metamaterial, which is characteristically defined by its active composition of the host material. Here by active we refer to the material properties that exhibit either optical gain under pumping or strong material nonlinear properties or both.

Active Metasurfaces

Recently, metamaterials researchers have developed novel metallic feature structures, metasurfaces, that allow for local control of the phase as an optical beam is transmitted through a surface. The objectives of this project are to investigate these metasurfaces using a low cost, rapid development approach to increase the efficiency of the refraction, develop designs that allow for pixilated arrays of flat lens, and investigate tuning concepts that would allow for the steering of microwave and infrared beams.

Metasurface Design

The goal of this project is to develop and validate a design tool for bulk metamaterials that takes into account coupling effects between nanostructures. It is based on a building block of resonators for each nano-structure referenced in a database to compile the desired design structure.

Design and Fabrication of Low-Loss Low-Index Optical Metamaterials

A new and rigorous theory (Ramm) that goes well beyond well known mixing rules (e.g. Maxwell-Garnett and Bruggeman) has been used to predict specific particle properties that would lead to a composite metamaterial having a desired refractive index, such as less than unity. Modeling based on this method and the development of processes and procedures to make and characterize coated nanoparticles is in progress.

THz Metamaterials

We have recently discovered that THz form-birefringence can be induced in sub-wavelength structures
fabricated from methacrylates using stereolithographic fabrication. These exciting results provide a new avenue for the fabrication of highly anisotropic THz metamaterials and their use for THz sensing and imaging applications.

IR Mueller Matrix Imaging of Dielectric Metamaterials

Recent advances in three-dimensional laser direct writing (3D-DLW) now enable the fabrication of dielectric metamaterials composed of constituents with virtually arbitrary geometry at the nanometer scale. However, despite these advances in nanoscale fabrication, the characterization and analysis of such metamaterials in the infrared spectral range is still lacking. In this project we will use variable angle of incidence ellipsometry and near normal incidence ellipsometry to characterize infrared metamaterials composed of subwavelength dielectric structures.

OAM Fiber

This project builds upon our work on generating, detecting and sorting OAM modes. In this project, we take what we have learned in past projects, combined with knowledge in the field of fiber gratings and aim to develop a fiber grating that filters for OAM mode.

Sorting Uniquely Identical Spherical Resonators by Light Forces

We will develop and exploit a disruptive technology of sorting microspheres with extraordinary high level of
uniformity of their whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonances. The proposed method is based on previous work done in the center showing that a focused laser beam exerts optical force on microspheres transversing the beam. 

Special Activities

IAB (Industry Advisory Board) Meetings - 

These meetings ensure that CfM projects are relevant and effective to its members and strengthen the Center's ties to the industry. The meetings are organized for the CfM's current and prospective industry members. Faculty and students who already participate or are willing to participate in the Center's projects are invited as well.

Optical Modeling Workshops - 

The workshop attendees use HFSS software to model advanced optical materials. The workshop is organized for the CfM's current and prospective industry members, faculty and students. Users are taught in a classroom setting and have access to workstations pre-loaded with HFSS optical modeling software. Engineers from Ansys (HFSS’ software developer) work interactively with workshop attendees and answer questions related to the software. A training manual is provided to all workshop attendees containing examples of metamaterial and nano-optic systems. 

Student Presentations at Conferences -

Students have the opportunity promote the Center by presenting project findings at various conferences.

Facilities and Laboratory

Core Facilities

   ➢ UNCC: The Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications
   ➢ UNCC: Advanced Microelectronic Materials Laboratory
   ➢ UNCC: The Microelectronics Fabrication Laboratory
   ➢ Clarkson: The Center for Advanced Materials Processing
   ➢ CUNY: The Metamaterials Research and Development Laboratory
   ➢ CUNY: The Center for Advanced Technology in Photonics Applications
   ➢ CUNY: The Institute for Ultrafast Lasers and Spectroscopy


University of North Carolina at Charlotte

9201 University City Blvd.
Grigg Hall 358

Charlotte, North Carolina, 28223

United States


Clarkson University

8 Clarkson Ave.

Potsdam, New York, 13699

United States