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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2006 Nov;23(11):2961-8.

Metamorphic materials: bulk electromagnetic transitions realized in electronically reconfigurable composite media.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


We present what we believe is a new class of composite electromagnetic materials characterized by the concept of metamorphism, which we define in general terms. Metamorphic materials exhibit bulk electromagnetic transitions among states characterized by distinct ranges of values of their reflection coefficient. Each such state has unique physical properties induced by the corresponding values of the reflection coefficient. We present a variety of physical realizations of the concept of metamorphic materials in microwave frequencies, showing with specific metallodielectric designs how transitions among metamorphic states can be obtained at the same frequency, for fixed material geometries, by electronic reconfigurability. We further show how a given material exhibiting certain metamorphic states at a given frequency can transform into a different combination of metamorphic states at different frequencies; i.e., metamorphic materials have a useful dispersive degree of freedom.

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