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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Mar;81(3 Pt 2):036605. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

Analytic expressions for the constitutive parameters of magnetoelectric metamaterials.

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  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA. drsmith@ee.duke.edu


Electromagnetic metamaterials are artificially structured media typically composed of arrays of resonant electromagnetic circuits, the dimension and spacing of which are considerably smaller than the free-space wavelengths of operation. The constitutive parameters for metamaterials, which can be obtained using full-wave simulations in conjunction with numerical retrieval algorithms, exhibit artifacts related to the finite size of the metamaterial cell relative to the wavelength. Liu [R. Liu, T. J. Cui, D. Huang, B. Zhao, and D. R. Smith, Phys. Rev. E 76, 026606 (2007)] showed that the complicated, frequency-dependent forms of the constitutive parameters can be described by a set of relatively simple analytical expressions. These expressions provide useful insight and can serve as the basis for more intelligent interpolation or optimization schemes. Here, we show that the same analytical expressions can be obtained using a transfer-matrix formalism applied to a one-dimensional periodic array of thin, resonant, dielectric, or magnetic sheets. The transfer-matrix formalism breaks down, however, when both electric and magnetic responses are present in the same unit cell, as it neglects the magnetoelectric coupling between unit cells [C. R. Simovski, Metamaterials 1, 62 (2007)]. We show that an alternative analytical approach based on the same physical model must be applied for such structures. Furthermore, in addition to the intercell coupling, electric and magnetic resonators within a unit cell may also exhibit magnetoelectric coupling. For such cells, we find an analytical expression for the effective index, which displays markedly characteristic dispersion features that depend on the strength of the coupling coefficient. We illustrate the applicability of the derived expressions by comparing to full-wave simulations on magnetoelectric unit cells. We conclude that the design of metamaterials with tailored simultaneous electric and magnetic response-such as negative index materials-will generally be complicated by potentially unwanted magnetoelectric coupling.

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