Researchers develop new twisted meta-materials
Researchers at the University of Southampton have demonstrated a new type of artificial material that transmits light differently in opposite directions (Physical Review Letters 97, 167401 (2006)). The material is achieved by fabricating a twisted wire grid on a flat dielectric substrate. Up until now, this asymmetric transmission has never been demonstrated in the microwave part of the spectrum, and its discovery is of profound benefit for the development of a new class of microwave. Tests on the optical version of the meta-material are underway.
The same group, led by Professor Nikolay Zheludev, which now continues its research in the ORC, has also demonstrated another type of twisted material, a bi-layered structure. This impressive structure exerts a huge rotary power exceeding that of natural quartz crystals by nearly a million times (Physical Review Letters 97, 177401 (2006)). The development of such a strongly rotating material is an important step towards creating a new type of negative index media needed for making optical super-lens.