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Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Apr 3;102(13):133902. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

Self-collimation of light over millimeter-scale distance in a quasi-zero-average-index metamaterial.

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  • 1CNR-IMM, Unità di Napoli, Via P. Castellino 111, 80131 Napoli, Italy.


Inspired by the concept of complementary media, we experimentally demonstrate that an engineered metamaterial made of alternating, stripe layers of negatively refracting (photonic crystals) and positively refracting (air) materials strongly collimates a beam of near-infrared light. This quasi-zero-average-index metamaterial fully preserves the beam spot size throughout the sample for a light beam traveling through the metamaterial a distance of 2 mm-more than 1000 times the input wavelength lambda=1.55 microm. These results demonstrate the first explicit experimental verification of optical antimatter as proposed by Pendry and Ramakrishna [J. Pendry and S. Ramakrishna, J. Phys. Condens. Matter 15, 6345 (2003)10.1088/0953-8984/15/37/004], using two complementary media in which each n(eff)=-1 layer appears to annihilate an equal thickness layer of air.

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