Active meta-materials based on liquid crystals and phase-change materials

Dmitry N. Chigrin

RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Today it is possible to engineer the building blocks, meta-atoms, of artificial materials with feature sizes smaller than the wavelength of light. The ability to design the meta-atoms in a largely arbitrary fashion adds a new degree of freedom in material engineering, allowing to create artificial materials with unusual physical properties rare or absent in nature. Examples include media with negative refractive index, hyperbolic media, and artificial media based on the concept of transformation optics. Recently research focus is shifting towards active meta-materials. Incorporating switching and modulation capabilities to meta-material based devices will drive advancement of their functionalities. In this presentation, our recent results on design and modeling of active meta-materials based on plasmonic and phononic materials and incorporating liquid crystals or phase-change materials as active elements will be discussed.