Negative-index metamaterials (NIMs) are engineered structures with optical properties that cannot be obtained in naturally occurring materials1, 2, 3. Recent work has demonstrated that focused ion beam4 and layer-by-layer electron-beam lithography5 can be used to pattern the necessary nanoscale features over small areas (hundreds of µm2) for metamaterials with three-dimensional layouts and interesting characteristics, including negative-index behaviour in the optical regime. A key challenge is in the fabrication of such three-dimensional NIMs with sizes and at throughputs necessary for many realistic applications (including lenses, resonators and other photonic components6, 7, 8). We report a simple printing approach capable of forming large-area, high-quality NIMs with three-dimensional, multilayer formats. Here, a silicon wafer with deep, nanoscale patterns of surface relief serves as a reusable stamp. Blanket deposition of alternating layers of silver and magnesium fluoride onto such a stamp represents a process for ‘inking’ it with thick, multilayer assemblies. Transfer printing this ink material onto rigid or flexible substrates completes the fabrication in a high-throughput manner. Experimental measurements and simulation results show that macroscale, three-dimensional NIMs (>75 cm2) nano-manufactured in this way exhibit a strong, negative index of refraction in the near-infrared spectral range, with excellent figures of merit.
At a glance
- The electrodynamics of substances with simultaneously negative values of ε and μ. Sov. Phys. Usp. 10, 509–514 (1968).
- Negative refraction makes a perfect lens. Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3966–3969 (2000).
- Experimental verification of a negative index of refraction. Science 292, 77–79 (2001). , &
- Three-dimensional optical metamaterial with a negative refractive index. Nature 455, 376–380 (2008). et al.
- Three-dimensional photonic metamaterials at optical frequencies. Nature Mater. 7, 31–37 (2007). et al.
- A Metamaterial for directive emission. Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 213902 (2002). , , , &
- Tunneling of electromagnetic energy through subwavelength channels and bends using ε-near-zero materials. Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 157403 (2006). &
- Experimental verification of ε-near-zero metamaterial coupling and energy squeezing using a microwave waveguide. Phys. Rev. Lett.100, 033903 (2008). , , , &
- Negative index bulk metamaterial at terahertz frequencies. Opt. Express 16, 6736–6744 (2008). , , , &
- Negative-index metamaterial with polymer-embedded wire-pair structures at terahertz frequencies. Opt. Lett. 33, 2683–2685 (2008). , &
- Low-loss negative-index metamaterial at telecommunication wavelengths. Opt. Lett. 31, 1800–1802 (2006). , &
- Three-dimensional nanotransmission lines at optical frequencies: a recipe for broad band negative-refraction optical metamaterials. Phys. Rev. B 75, 024304 (2007). &
- Realization of a three-functional-layer negative-index photonic metamaterial. Opt. Lett. 32, 551–553 (2007). , &
- Optical negative-index bulk metamaterials consisting of 2D perforated metal–dielectric stacks. Opt. Express 14, 6778–6787 (2006). et al.
- Fabrication of large area fishnet optical metamaterial structures operational at near-IR wavelengths. Materials 3, 5283–5292 (2010). , , &
- Near-infrared double negative metamaterials. Opt. Express 13, 4922–4930 (2005). et al.
- Coupling effect of magnetic polariton in perforated metal/dielectric layered metamaterials and its influence on negative refraction transmission. Opt. Express 14, 11115–11163 (2006). et al.
- Analysis of bandwidth and loss in negative-refractive-index transmission-line (NRI–TL) media using coupled resonators. IEEE Microw. Wireless Components Lett. 17, 412–414 (2007).
- Nanoimprint lithography. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 14, 4129–4133 (1996). , &
- Nanoimprint lithography materials development for semiconductor device fabrication. Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 39, 155–180 (2009). , , &
- Unconventional methods for fabricating and patterning nanostructures. Chem. Rev. 99, 1823–1848 (1999). , , &
- Unconventional nanofabrication. Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 34, 339–372 (2004). , , , &
- Programmable soft lithography: solvent-assisted nanoscale embossing. Nano Lett. 11, 311–315 (2011). , , , &
- High resolution soft lithography: enabling materials for nano-technologies. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 43, 5796–5799 (2004). , , &
- Soft-lithographic replication of 3D microstructures with closed loops. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 8589–8594 (2006). , &
- Vapour deposited cone formation during fabrication of low voltage field emitter array cathods. J. Mater. Sci. 31, 1789–1796 (1996). , , &
- Investigation of the formation mechanism of Spindt-type cathode by simulation and experiments. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 17, 547–551 (1999). , , , &
- Flexible metamaterials for wireless strain sensing. Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 181105 (2009). , , , &
- Flexible metamaterials at visible wavelengths. New J. Phys. 12, 113006 (2010). , &
- Large-area metamaterials on thin membranes for multilayer and curved applications at terahertz and higher frequencies. Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 161113 (2009). et al.
- Transfer printing by kinetic control of adhesion to an elastomeric stamp. Nature Mater. 5, 33–38 (2006). et al.
- Determination of effective permittivity and permeability of metamaterials from reflection and transmission coefficients. Phys. Rev. B 65, 195104 (2002). , , &
- Robust method to retrieve the constitutive effective parameters of metamaterials. Phys. Rev. E 70, 016608 (2004). , , , &
- Electromagnetic parameter retrieval from inhomogeneous metamaterials. Phys. Rev. E 71, 036617 (2005). , , &
- Optical constants of the noble metals. Phys. Rev. B 6, 4370–4379 (1972). &
- Supplementary information (971 KB)