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 18.09.2008   Карта сайта     Language По-русски По-английски
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18.09.2008

Nature 455, 376-379 (18 September 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature07247; Received 20 March 2008; Accepted 11 July 2008; Published online 11 August 2008



Three-dimensional optical metamaterial with a negative refractive index


Jason Valentine1,3, Shuang Zhang1,3, Thomas Zentgraf1,3, Erick Ulin-Avila1, Dentcho A. Genov1, Guy Bartal1 & Xiang Zhang1,2




  1. NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), 3112 Etcheverry Hall, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
  2. Material Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
  3. These authors contributed equally to this work.


Correspondence to: Xiang Zhang1,2 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to X.Z. (Email: xiang@berkeley.edu).





Metamaterials are artificially engineered structures that have properties, such as a negative refractive index1, 2, 3, 4, not attainable with naturally occurring materials. Negative-index metamaterials (NIMs) were first demonstrated for microwave frequencies5, 6, but it has been challenging to design NIMs for optical frequencies and they have so far been limited to optically thin samples because of significant fabrication challenges and strong energy dissipation in metals7, 8. Such thin structures are analogous to a monolayer of atoms, making it difficult to assign bulk properties such as the index of refraction. Negative refraction of surface plasmons was recently demonstrated but was confined to a two-dimensional waveguide9. Three-dimensional (3D) optical metamaterials have come into focus recently, including the realization of negative refraction by using layered semiconductor metamaterials and a 3D magnetic metamaterial in the infrared frequencies; however, neither of these had a negative index of refraction10, 11. Here we report a 3D optical metamaterial having negative refractive index with a very high figure of merit of 3.5 (that is, low loss). This metamaterial is made of cascaded 'fishnet' structures, with a negative index existing over a broad spectral range. Moreover, it can readily be probed from free space, making it functional for optical devices. We construct a prism made of this optical NIM to demonstrate negative refractive index at optical frequencies, resulting unambiguously from the negative phase evolution of the wave propagating inside the metamaterial. Bulk optical metamaterials open up prospects for studies of 3D optical effects and applications associated with NIMs and zero-index materials such as reversed Doppler effect, superlenses, optical tunnelling devices12, 13, compact resonators and highly directional sources14.



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  • Chen Wev .  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Harton Vladislav Vadim  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Lichtenstain Alexandr Iosif  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Novikov Dimirtii Leonid  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Yakushev Mikhail Vasilii  honorary member of ISSC science council

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