Scalable variable-index elasto-optic metamaterials for macroscopic optical components and devices

Dongheok Shin, Junhyun Kim, Changwook Kim, Kyuyoung Bae, Seunghwa Baek, Gumin Kang, Yaroslav Urzhumov, David R. Smith, Kyoungsik Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Optical metamaterials with an artificial subwavelength structure offer new approaches to implement advanced optical devices. However, some of the biggest challenges associated with the development of metamaterials in the visible spectrum are the high costs and slow production speeds of the nanofabrication processes. Here, we demonstrate a macroscale (>35 mm) transformation-optics wave bender (293 mm2) and Luneburg lens (855 mm^2) in the broadband white-light visible wavelength range using the concept of elasto-optic metamaterials that combines optics and solid mechanics. Our metamaterials consist of mesoscopically homogeneous chunks of bulk aerogels with superior, broadband optical transparency across the visible spectrum and an adjustable, stress-tuneable refractive index ranging from 1.43 down to nearly the free space index (∼1.074). The experimental results show that broadband light can be controlled and redirected in a volume of >105λ × 10^5λ × 103λ, which enables natural light to be processed directly by metamaterial-based optical devices without any additional coupling components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16090
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Global Research Lab (GRL) Program, the Pioneer Research Centre Program, a grant of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF-2016K1A1A2912758, NRF-2013M3C1A3065045, NRF-2015R1A2A2A11001112), the Centre for Advanced Meta-Materials (CAMM-2014M3A6B3063712) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning as Global Frontier Project, the Low Observable Technology Research Centre Program of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration and Agency for Defense Development, and the Asian Office of Aerospace R & D grant, FA2386-15-1-4024 (15IOA024).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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