Structured Electromagnetic Materials


Organisation profile

In this group, we focus on the theory and synthesis (design) of structured materials and in particular on new wave phenomena and material properties, not provided to us by Nature herself. The new paradigm of metamaterials is to provide such new advanced or enhanced material functionalities through artificial (sub)wavelength structuring of the material rather than through the individual contributions from the atomic-scale constituents as is the case in most naturally occuring materials. Here is listed some of current research topics in the structured electromagnetic materials group.


Picture 1

Metamaterial is an artificial composite material whose overall optical response is determined not only by its element materials, but also (sometimes more critically) by its geometrical composition. Metamaterials are argued to possess extraordinary optical properties not found in natural materials. Negative index is an example. Our activities on this subject involve transformation optics for designing novel photonic devices (e.g. cloaks), tunable metamaterial, as well as metamaterial for compact antenna design.

 Picture 2

While the concept of homogenization theory is easily being applied to the assymptotic long-wavelength limit, e.g. the microwave regime where true sub-wavelength structures may be fabricated with ease, the optical regime challenges the underlying hypothesis of a true subwavelength unit cell. This calls for a deeper understanding of possible ambiguities associated with the propagation of a multiple of branches of electromagnetic states, rather than just a single state as in the asymptotic limit.


Picture 3

The strong enhancement and confinement of the optical field associated with surface plasmon excitation makes such structures important targets for research and advanced technological applications. Engineering, control, and manipulation of the surface plasmons with the aid of nanostructures could, for example, lead to miniaturized photonic circuits with significantly increased functionality and reduced cost. The present project seeks to further advance surface plasmon efforts by employing periodic metallic structures in surface enhanced techniques. Our aim is to explore new nanoplasmonic structures for use in optical techniques in bio-chemical sensing and analysis.

Quantum mechanical effects in the metallic response are expected to become important when the mesoscopic unit-cell structures have features approaching the nano regime. The Friedel oscillations and edge-smearing have important consequences for the field enhancement occurring at otherwise geometrically sharp features such as the corners of   the triangle. In this project we consider quantum mechanical effects which are hardly addressed in the metamaterial community, where the optical properties are traditionally studied theoretically within the classical framework of Maxwells wave equations with the material response given by bulk properties, thus neglecting spatial dispersion of quantum mechanical origin.
The SEM group also involves the following research subjects:
  • applications of metamaterical concepts for antenna design and wirelss-energy transfer
  • fundamental limitations of slow-light propagation in photonic crystals
  • light-matter interactions, quantum dots embedded in a strongly dispersive environment
  • sensing of chiral molecules in strongly dispersive structured media
  • quantum optics in disordered and strongly dispersive media
  • structured low-dimensional electron systems
These research activities are financially supported through a number of national research grants including
  • The Danish Council for Strategic Research through the
    Strategic Program for Young Researchers
    (DSF grant #2117-05-0037, PI=Mortensen)
  • The Danish Research Council for Technology and Production Sciences
    (FTP grant #274-07-0080, PI=Mortensen, FTP grant #274-07-0379, PI=Xiao)

The group also participates in the following centres and projects

    Nanophotonics for Terabit Communications
    VKR Centre of Excellence
    Topology Optimization of Electromagnetic Metamaterials for Miniaturiztation of Wireless Communication Antennas

Contact information

Ørsteds Plads
Kgs. Lyngby
  • Phone: +45 4525 6352
  • Fax: +45 4593 6581
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  • Optics Express

    ISSNs: 1094-4087, 10944087

    Optical Society of America, United States

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 2, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Applied Physics Letters

    ISSNs: 0003-6951, 00036951

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1077-3118

    American Institute of Physics, United States

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 2, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging

    ISSNs: 1605-7422, 0277-786X, 0277-786X, 0361-0748, 0277-786X

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1042-4687

    S P I E - International Society for Optical Engineering, United States

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 1, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed no

    Central database


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