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Metasurfaces and Metamaterials
Metamaterials and metasurfaces are artificially engineered structures consisting of arrays of sub-wavelength scatterers embedded or deposited on a host material. While in metamaterials the scatterers alter the host material electrical parameters, realizing values not available in nature, in metasurfaces, the scatterers induce very abrupt variations of the phase, polarization and amplitude of the impinging wave, within a very thin membrane. These unconventional electromagnetic properties can lead to major breakthroughs in sensing, imaging and miniaturization.
In particular, optical metasurfaces allow all possible forms of light manipulation with unconventional, extremely thin optical devices, like: flat lenses, deflectors, polarizers, holograms, perfect absorbers, filters, beam shapers, near-to-far-field transducers. Their extraordinary electromagnetic properties and their extremely thin dimensions allow very high levels of integration with other components and sensors.
My main research goal in this field is to enable the development of novel system/instrument concepts based on metasurfaces/metamaterials. To accomplish this goal, we develop modelling/design frameworks, we build and test demonstrators and we embed these structures in the design of complex systems. TNO has a long and world recognized competence in the development of instruments/systems for space, defence and semiconductor industry. With the use of metasurfaces and metamaterials we are enabling the development of a new generation of instruments.
In this context, my research closely contributes to the TNO roadmaps ‘Semiconductor’, ‘Space’ and ‘Information & Sensor systems’.
Development of strategies and tools for the design of flat metalenses, metasurface based super-absorbers and new concepts of compact spectro-polarimeter sensors, enabled by full-dielectric metasurfaces. Hardware demonstrators have been designed, manufactured and tested, showing very good match between theoretical and experimental results. The spectro-polarimeter concept is currently under development for the realization of innovative Defence and Space Systems.
Development of an advanced and unique electromagnetic modelling framework for the analysis of near-field super resolution detection systems in the DUV range. This tool has been used for an assessment study performed for a world leader semiconductor company.
TNO has become the leading organization for The Netherlands in the European consortium FORESEEN (Prof. Dr. G. Gerini is the national point of contact and member of the consortium Executive Board), which has successively agglomerated other consortia into the Nanoarchitectronics initiative. This is playing an important role in the definition of the EU research agenda on Nanotechnology.