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Metamaterials, Plasmonics, Nano-optics, and Optical Nanocircuits

Metactronics: Metamaterial-Inspired Nanoelectronics, Circuits with Light at Nanoscale

We have developed the concept of new forms of optical circuitry in which a tapestry of subwavelength nanometer-scale metamaterial structures and nanoparticles may provide a mechanism for tailoring, patterning, and manipulating local optical electric fields and electric displacement vectors in a subwavelength domain, leading to possibility of optical information processing at the nanometer scale. By exploiting the optical properties of metamaterials, these nanoparticles may play the role of 'lumped' nanocircuit elements, e.g., nanoinductors, nanocapacitors, and nanoresistors, analogous to microelectronics. This paradigm brings the tools and mathematical machinery of the circuit theory into optics, may link the fields of optics, electronics, plasmonics, and metamaterials, and may provide road maps to future innovations in nanoscale optical devices, components, and more intricate nanoscale metamaterials. We have extended this notion to more complex nanocircuits such as parallel and series combinations of nanoelements, nanofiltering, nanoinsulators, nanoconnectors, optical nanotransmission lines, and optical 'shorting' wires.



For details regarding this image, please see, N. Engheta, "Circuits with Light at Nanoscales: Optical Nanocircuits Inspired by Metamaterials," Science, 317, 1698, September 21, 2007.  N. Engheta, “Taming Light at the Nanoscale,”  Physics World , Vol. 23, No. 9, pp. 31-34, September 2010