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Stereometamaterials

Abstract

The subdiscipline of chemistry that studies molecular structures in three dimensions is called stereochemistry. One important aspect of stereochemistry is stereoisomers: materials with the same chemical formula but different spatial arrangements of atoms within molecules. The relative positions of atoms have great influence on the properties of chemical substances. Here, in analogy to stereoisomers in chemistry, we propose a new concept in nanophotonics, namely stereometamaterials, which refer to metamaterials with the same constituents but different spatial arrangements. As a model system of stereometamaterials, we theoretically and experimentally study meta-dimers, which consist of a stack of two identical split-ring resonators in each unit cell with various twist angles. The interplay of electric and magnetic interactions plays a crucial role for the optical properties. Specifically, the influence of higher-order electric multipoles becomes clearly evident. The twisting of stereometamaterials offers a way to engineer complex plasmonic nanostructures with a tailored electromagnetic response.

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Figure 1: Structural geometry and numerical simulation.
Figure 2: Numerical current and magnetic field distributions.
Figure 3: Twisting dispersion of the stereo-SRR dimer metamaterials.
Figure 4: Field-emission electron microscopy images and experimental measurement.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank M. Stockman, T. Pfau, F. Giesselmann and M. Dressel for useful discussions and comments. We thank S. Linden for stimulating us to study the twisted SRRs with different angles. We acknowledge S. Hein for his metamaterial visualizations. We gratefully thank M. Hirscher and U. Eigenthaler at the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung for their electron microscopy support. We acknowledge S. Kaiser, H. Graebeldinger and M. Ubl for technical assistance. This work was financially supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SPP1113 and FOR557), Landesstiftung BW and BMBF (13N9155 and 13N10146). The research of H.L. and S.Z. was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 10604029, no. 10704036 and no. 10874081) and the National Key Projects for Basic Researches of China (no. 2009CB930501, no. 2006CB921804 and no. 2004CB619003).

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Correspondence to Harald Giessen.

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Liu, N., Liu, H., Zhu, S. et al. Stereometamaterials. Nature Photon 3, 157–162 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2009.4

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