Advanced Laboratory for Metamaterials Research          :: RESEARCH ::

Singapore Synchrotron Light Source (SSLS), 5 Research link, Singapore 117603.


Project Summary

(Left-handed or Electromagnetic Metamaterials)

Develop a new kind of artificial materials, referred to as electromagnetic meta-materials (EM3), which possess superior electromagnetic properties that cannot be found in naturally occurring materials.


 The first microfabricated Electromagnetic  Metamaterials  manufactured at the Singapore Synchrotron Light Source. 

 Microchips of Electromagnetic Metamaterials on a Silicon wafer.

Project Description, Outcome and Implications 

When this team started working, the bulk of the EM3 fabricated so far had overall structure sizes in the millimeter range and thus operated at the microwave region (1–100 GHz). However, the final goal in this field is to be able to produce EM3 that will be capable of working over the whole infrared range and up to the visible. If EM3 are to work at such high frequencies, the overall structure size of the individual components has to be shrunk into the sub-nanometer range.

Since 2003, we applied lithography to the manufacturing of the next-generation EM3, succeeding in producing the first microelectro- magnetic metamaterials at the far infrared region (1–2.4 THz). Continuing these efforts towards nanofabrication we were able to produce electromagnetic metamaterials operating at a record frequency of 187.5 THz, which is near telecommunications frequencies (~194 THz).

EM3 are expected to provide new functionalities and enhancements to future optical and optoelectronics devices such as high-speed circuits, high-resolution imaging systems and higher capacity optical data storage systems. The next-generation EM3 will also impact areas such as telecommunications, information technology, life sciences and military applications.

Up to date, we have extended the accessible frequency range of EM3 by more than 4 orders of magnitude, and led the way to developing higher-frequency metamaterials via lithography (including the LIGA process). From the perspective of practical applications, the current composite materials can potentially be implemented as novel light-weight infrared sensors, but the full-fledged applications, as cited above, will have to wait a few years. Our research work has been published in Physical Review Letters and others, and cited in numerous journals and conferences by world-renowned experts.