JCJC SIMI 9 - JCJC - SIMI 9 - Sciences de l'Ingénierie, Matériaux, Procédes et Energie

Subwavelength PHOtonic CrYstals and Applications – Sphocya

Submission summary

In the last two decades, there has been huge efforts to create manmade materials with novel and engineered properties. The main goal of these researches consists in developing ways to manipulate, control or guide waves. This can consist in trapping waves in cavities, in forcing them to follow given paths, or in selecting a frequency range that can or cannot go through a given component. Being able to control the flow of waves has many applications spanning from the field of wireless communications to that of digital computing, including sensing, detection, laser sources, or quantum electrodynamics. It also embraces all the areas of the electromagnetic spectrum from the very low frequency metric range of the digital television broadcasting to the sub-micron one of the nano-optics.

Two main separated approaches have been proposed for the purpose of manipulating the flow of waves. The first one is based on photonic crystals which can present areas of the spectrum where the propagation of waves in prohibited, called photonic band gaps. Their properties are based on interferences effects and their typical spatial scale is of the order of the wavelength. It has been demonstrated that modifying locally those crystals can lead to many tools that can enhance light matter interactions, guide waves, confine them or filter them. These crystals are very interesting, but they result in components large compared to the wavelength.

Even more recently resonant metamaterials have been proposed which possess very interesting properties such as negative indices of refraction. Those manmade materials can present a deep subwavelength spatial scale. They are, however, mainly used for their effective properties and are generally studied under the effective medium theory. It is usually believed that those materials are governed by near field coupling, and that any local modification of a unit cell alters their potentiality. Therefore, interestingly, there has been no tentative to transpose the very powerful concepts introduced in the field of photonic crystals to that of metamaterials.

Recently, we have shown on the contrary that since most of the dispersion displayed by many metamaterials arises from a far field type of coupling, it is possible to use the latter as photonic crystals. In particular, we have shown that locally modifying a resonant wire based metamaterial results in a cavity of extremely small mode volume, which present an unprecedented Purcell factor. This literally means that under certain conditions, a deeply subwavelength organized metamaterials can be used as a photonic crystal to achieve the same operations than the latter, yet in a much smaller form factor.

This project aims at transposing the amazing concepts developed in the field of photonic crystals to that of metamaterials. To that aim, we will first study in which limit such a transposition is possible, and notably, to what extent near field coupling between the unit cells can hamper it. Having identified the best resonant elements for our purpose, we will then demonstrate that it is possible to guide, confine, filter or multiplex waves at the subwavelength scale using locally resonant metamaterials, hence merging the great properties of photonic crystals and metamaterials in novel and exotic manmade materials. We will characterize our media, compare them to state of the art technologies, and study their robustness to fabrication uncertainties. A special attention will be paid to applications, and specifically, we will concentrate on four types of ultra compact components: delay lines for radar applications, antennas for wireless communications, filters for sensing and detection, and waveguides for information processing. Finally, on a more fundamental point of view, we will examine how their resonant nature in presence of disorder can influence the propagation of waves and possibly prohibit it through the mechanism of localization.

Project coordination

geoffroy LEROSEY (Université)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 209,664 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2013 - 36 Months

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