Focus

Metamaterials for nano-optics

Image credit: © Phil Saunders, Space Channel

Optical losses and the inability to modulate optical signals at the nanoscale have hindered major developments in the field of plasmonics and have forced the community to come up with creative solutions to solve these problems. In this focus, we look at some of the ways researchers have tackled these problems in recent years. In particular, we examine all-dielectric systems that should provide alternative, lossless ways to manipulate light at the nanoscale, hybrid atomic heterostructures that combine the advantages of plasmons and phonons, and reconfigurable metamaterials actuated by a host of nanoscale forces for signal modulation.

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Editorial

Where now for plasmonics? p1

doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.333

Developing useful methods to control light–matter interactions at the nanoscale requires an appreciation of the needs of industry and innovative approaches that go beyond plasmonics.


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Perspectives

Atomic-scale photonic hybrids for mid-infrared and terahertz nanophotonics pp9 - 15

Joshua D. Caldwell, Igor Vurgaftman, Joseph G. Tischler, Orest J. Glembocki, Jeffrey C. Owrutsky & Thomas L. Reinecke

doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.305

This Perspective discusses materials that can sustain hybrid surface plasmon and surface phonon polaritons for future nanophotonics applications.

Reconfigurable nanomechanical photonic metamaterials pp16 - 22

Nikolay I. Zheludev & Eric Plum

doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.302

Nanostructured metamaterials fabricated on nanomembranes can be reconfigured by thermal, electric, magnetic and optical forces resulting in dynamically controlled optical properties.


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Review

All-dielectric metamaterials pp23 - 36

Saman Jahani & Zubin Jacob

doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.304

This Review discusses recent research efforts to confine and guide light at the nanoscale without using metals.


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