Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

All-angle negative refraction and active flat lensing of ultraviolet light

Subjects

Abstract

Decades ago, Veselago1 predicted that a material with simultaneously negative electric and magnetic polarization responses would yield a ‘left-handed’ medium in which light propagates with opposite phase and energy velocities—a condition described by a negative refractive index. He proposed that a flat slab of left-handed material possessing an isotropic refractive index of −1 could act like an imaging lens in free space. Left-handed materials do not occur naturally, and it has only recently become possible to achieve a left-handed response using metamaterials, that is, electromagnetic structures engineered on subwavelength scales to elicit tailored polarization responses. So far, left-handed responses have typically been implemented using resonant metamaterials composed of periodic arrays of unit cells containing inductive–capacitive resonators and conductive wires. Negative refractive indices that are isotropic in two2 or three3 dimensions at microwave frequencies have been achieved in resonant metamaterials with centimetre-scale features. Scaling the left-handed response to higher frequencies, such as infrared or visible, has been done by shrinking critical dimensions to submicrometre scales by means of top-down nanofabrication4. This miniaturization has, however, so far been achieved at the cost of reduced unit-cell symmetry, yielding a refractive index that is negative along only one axis. Moreover, lithographic scaling limits have so far precluded the fabrication of resonant metamaterials with left-handed responses at frequencies beyond the visible5. Here we report the experimental implementation of a bulk metamaterial with a left-handed response to ultraviolet light. The structure, based on stacked plasmonic waveguides6, yields an omnidirectional left-handed response for transverse magnetic polarization characterized by a negative refractive index. By engineering the structure to have a refractive index close to −1 over a broad angular range, we achieve Veselago flat lensing, in free space, of arbitrarily shaped, two-dimensional objects beyond the near field. We further demonstrate active, all-optical modulation of the image transferred by the flat lens.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Ultraviolet bulk metamaterial.
Figure 2: Experimental and simulated results for refraction of power and phase.
Figure 3: Ultraviolet flat lensing.

References

  1. Veselago, V. G. The electrodynamics of substances with simultaneously negative values of ε and μ. Sov. Phys. Usp. 10, 509–514 (1968)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Shelby, R. A., Smith, D. R. & Schultz, S. Experimental verification of a negative index of refraction. Science 292, 77–79 (2001)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Rudolph, S. M. & Grbic, A. A broadband three-dimensionally isotropic negative-refractive-index medium. IEEE Trans. Antenn. Propag. 60, 3661–3669 (2012)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Shalaev, V. M. Optical negative-index metamaterials. Nature Photon. 1, 41–48 (2007)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Soukoulis, C. M. & Wegener, M. Past achievements and future challenges in the development of three dimensional photonic metamaterials. Nature Photon. 5, 523–530 (2011)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Verhagen, E., Waele, R. D., Kuipers, L. & Polman, A. Three-dimensional negative index of refraction at optical frequencies by coupling plasmonic waveguides. Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 223901 (2010)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Depine, R. A. & Lakhtakia, A. A new condition to identify isotropic dielectric-magnetic materials displaying negative phase velocity. Microw. Opt. Technol. Lett. 41, 315–316 (2004)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Shvets, G. Photonic approach to making a material with a negative index of refraction. Phys. Rev. B 67, 035109 (2003)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Shin, H. & Fan, S. All-angle negative refraction for surface plasmon waves using a metal-dielectric-metal structure. Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 073907 (2006)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Alù, A. & Engheta, N. Optical nanotransmission lines: synthesis of planar left-handed metamaterials in the infrared and visible regimes. J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 571–583 (2006)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Lezec, H. J., Dionne, J. A. & Atwater, H. A. Negative refraction at visible frequencies. Science 316, 430–432 (2007)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Yeh, P. Optical Waves in Layered Media 118–143 (Wiley, 1988)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Foteinopoulou, S. & Soukoulis, C. M. Negative refraction and left-handed behavior in two-dimensional photonic crystals. Phys. Rev. B 67, 235107 (2003)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Menzel, C. et al. Retrieving effective parameters for metamaterials at oblique incidence. Phys. Rev. B 77, 195328 (2008)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Xiao, S. et al. Yellow light negative index metamaterials. Opt. Lett. 34, 3478–3480 (2009)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Houck, A. A., Brock, J. B. & Chuang, I. L. Experimental observations of a left-handed material that obeys Snell’s law. Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 137401 (2003)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Grbic, A. & Eleftheriades, G. V. Overcoming the diffraction limit with a planar left-handed transmission-line lens. Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 117403 (2004)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Iyer, A. K. & Eleftheriades, G. V. Free-space imaging beyond the diffraction limit using a Veselago-Pendry transmission-line metamaterial superlens. IEEE Trans. Antenn. Propag. 57, 1720–1727 (2009)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Pendry, J. B. Negative refraction makes a perfect lens. Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3966–3969 (2000)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Ziolkowski, R. W. & Heyman, E. Wave propagation in media having negative permittivity and permeability. Phys. Rev. E 64, 056625 (2001)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Garcia, N. &. Nieto-Vesperinas, M. Left-handed materials do not make a perfect lens. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 207403 (2002)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Loschialpo, P. F., Smith, D. L., Forester, D. W., Rachford, F. J. & Schelleng, J. Electromagnetic waves focused by a negative-index planar lens. Phys. Rev. E 67, 025602 (2003)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Rao, X. S. & Ong, C. K. Subwavelength imaging by a left-handed material superlens. Phys. Rev. E 68, 067601 (2003)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Nieto-Vesperinas, M. Problem of image superresolution with a negative-refractive-index slab. J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 491–498 (2004)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Fang, N., Lee, H., Sun, C. & Zhang, X. Sub-diffraction-limited optical imaging with a silver superlens. Science 308, 534–537 (2005)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Hess, O. et al. Active nanoplasmonic metamaterials. Nature Mater. 11, 573–584 (2012)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Carp, O., Huisman, C. L. & Reller, A. Photoinduced reactivity of titanium dioxide. Prog. Solid State Chem. 32, 33–177 (2004)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Chen, X. & Mao, S. S. Titanium dioxide nanomaterials: synthesis, properties, modifications, and applications. Chem. Rev. 107, 2891–2959 (2007)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Zhang, X. Y., Dhawan, A., Wellenius, P., Suresh, A. & Muth, J. F. Planar ZnO ultraviolet modulator. Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 071107 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Kao, C., Bhattacharyya, A., Thomidis, C., Paiella, R. & Moustakas, T. D. Electroabsorption modulators based on bulk GaN films and GaN/AlGaN multiple quantum wells. J. Appl. Phys. 109, 083102 (2011)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank A. Liddle, K. Srinivasan, R. McMichael, A. Nahata and S. Blair for discussions. We also thank the staff from CNST NanoFab for technical support. T.X. and M.A. acknowledge support under the Cooperative Research Agreement between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, award number 70NANB10H193, through the University of Maryland.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

The experiments were designed and performed by T.X., A.A., M.A. and H.J.L. Simulations were performed by T.X., M.A. and K.J.C. with further analysis by A.A. and H.J.L. All authors contributed to the interpretation of results and participated in manuscript preparation.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Henri J. Lezec.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

This file contains Supplementary Text, Supplementary Figures 1-3 and Supplementary References. (PDF 735 kb)

PowerPoint slides

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Xu, T., Agrawal, A., Abashin, M. et al. All-angle negative refraction and active flat lensing of ultraviolet light. Nature 497, 470–474 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12158

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12158

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing