NS4: Meta-materials and nano-photonics

Module title: Meta-materials and nano-photonics (NS4)

Module convenors:

Shuang Zhang (Birmingham)

Module aims:

This module aims at providing an overview of two of the most fast growing research areas in optics – Metamaterials and nanophotonics. Metamaterials are a new class of artificial photonic structures that exhibit very unconventional electromagnetic properties, such as artificial magnetism, negative index of refraction. These novel properties arise from the unique structural design of the basic unit cell of metamaterials – or meta-atoms, in the deep subwavelength scale. Many applications are enabled by metamaterials, including super-imaging lens that breaks the diffraction limit, and invisibility cloaks that is capable of bending light around an object and making it invisible. At optical frequenices, the research on metamaterials merges with nanophotonics, which studies the interaction of light with metal surfaces and deep subwavelength metal particles. The collective oscillation of electrons in metals, so called surface plasmon polariton (SPP), is capable of enhancing light-matter interaction and promises many important applications in imaging, sensing, and optical communications.

Learning objectives:

Understand interaction of light with nanoscale metallic structures. Learn the general principle to design metamaterials for achieving various novel optical properties.


1. Introduction to Plasmonics and Metamaterials; Optical properties of metals 2. Surface plasmon polariton at metal/dielectric interface; Localized surface plasmon 3. Extraordinary optical transmission mediated by surface plasmon; Optical properties of metal-dielectric composites 4. Electric and Magnetic Metamaterials; Negative index metamaterials 5. Applications of Metamaterials: Super-imaging; Transformation Optics and Invisibility Cloaks.
2 hrs
Academic year: 
15/02/2013 - 13:00