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Nat Commun. 2013;4:1904. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2934.

Monodisperse silicon nanocavities and photonic crystals with magnetic response in the optical region.

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Centro de Tecnologias Fisicas, Unidad Asociada ICMM/CSIC-UPV, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Av. Los Naranjos s/n, Valencia 46022, Spain.


It is generally accepted that the magnetic component of light has a minor role in the light-matter interaction. The recent discovery of metamaterials has broken this traditional understanding, as both the electric and the magnetic field are key ingredients in metamaterials. The top-down technology used so far employs noble metals with large intrinsic losses. Here we report on a bottom-up approach for processing metamaterials based on suspensions of monodisperse full dielectric silicon nanocavities with a large magnetic response in the near-infrared region. Experimental results and theory show that silicon-colloid-based liquid suspensions and photonic crystals made of two-dimensional arrays of particles have strong magnetic response in the near-infrared region with small optical losses. Our findings might have important implications in the bottom-up processing of large-area low-loss metamaterials working in the near-infrared region.

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