Nanoimprinted metamaterials control visibile light and the fabrication process will scale

A ‘nanoimprinting’ technique makes it possible to fabricate visible-light-bending metamaterials at unprecedented scales. Takuo Tanaka from the RIKEN Metamaterials Laboratory, in collaboration with Shoichi Kubo and colleagues at Tohoku University, has now demonstrated a scalable fabrication method that greatly eases the production of metamaterials that can interact with light at visible wavelengths.

The team was able to create split rings approximately 212 nanometers across and 54 nanometers high.

Tanaka and his colleagues demonstrated that their metamaterial magnetically interacts with red light. More important, however, is the scalability of their fabrication technique. Whereas techniques such as electron-beam lithography are limited to producing arrays of just several hundred square micrometers in area, Tanaka and his co-workers managed to create an array of 360 million split-ring resonators across a 5-millimeter square using their nanoimprint technique. “This is, to the best of our knowledge, the world’s largest two-dimensional split-ring resonator array metamaterial for visible light,” explains Tanaka. “Our next step will be to create much larger metamaterials, to make them three dimensional, and to reduce the operation wavelength.”

Applied Physics Letters – Split-ring resonators interacting with a magnetic field at visible frequencies

Split-ring resonators (SRRs) are attractive owing to the interaction with a magnetic field of incident light. Here, we report the fabrication of uniform arrays of about 360 million Au SRRs with a line width of approximately 50 nm by reactive-monolayer-assisted thermal nanoimprint lithography over a 5-mm square area. Furthermore, we present an experimental demonstration of the oscillation of free electrons excited by a magnetic field at 690 nm in the visible frequency region. The fabrication and optical investigation of SRR arrays over such large areas will facilitate opportunities to realize advanced optical devices.

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