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Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 Jun 5;6(7):402-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2011.82.

Large-area flexible 3D optical negative index metamaterial formed by nanotransfer printing.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science, Beckman Institute, and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.

Abstract

Negative-index metamaterials (NIMs) are engineered structures with optical properties that cannot be obtained in naturally occurring materials. Recent work has demonstrated that focused ion beam and layer-by-layer electron-beam lithography can be used to pattern the necessary nanoscale features over small areas (hundreds of µm(2)) for metamaterials with three-dimensional layouts and interesting characteristics, including negative-index behaviour in the optical regime. A key challenge is in the fabrication of such three-dimensional NIMs with sizes and at throughputs necessary for many realistic applications (including lenses, resonators and other photonic components). We report a simple printing approach capable of forming large-area, high-quality NIMs with three-dimensional, multilayer formats. Here, a silicon wafer with deep, nanoscale patterns of surface relief serves as a reusable stamp. Blanket deposition of alternating layers of silver and magnesium fluoride onto such a stamp represents a process for 'inking' it with thick, multilayer assemblies. Transfer printing this ink material onto rigid or flexible substrates completes the fabrication in a high-throughput manner. Experimental measurements and simulation results show that macroscale, three-dimensional NIMs (>75 cm(2)) nano-manufactured in this way exhibit a strong, negative index of refraction in the near-infrared spectral range, with excellent figures of merit.

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PMID:
21642984
[PubMed]
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