Complete absorption of electromagnetic waves is paramount in today’s applications, ranging from photovoltaics to cross-talk prevention into sensitive devices. In this context, we use a genetic algorithm (GA) strategy to optimize absorption properties of periodic arrays of truncated square-based pyramids made of alternating stacks of metal/dielectric layers. We target ultra-broadband quasi-perfect absorption of normally incident electromagnetic radiations in the visible and near-infrared ranges (wavelength comprised between 420 and 1600 nm). We compare the results one can obtain by considering one, two or three stacks of either Ni, Ti, Al, Cr, Ag, Cu, Au or W for the metal, and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) for the dielectric. More than 1017 configurations of geometrical parameters are explored and reduced to a few optimal ones. This extensive study shows that Ni/PMMA, Ti/PMMA, Cr/PMMA and W/PMMA provide high-quality solutions with an integrated absorptance higher than 99% over the considered wavelength range, when considering realistic implementation of these ultra-broadband perfect electromagnetic absorbers. Robustness of optimal solutions with respect to geometrical parameters is investigated and local absorption maps are provided. Moreover, we confirm that these optimal solutions maintain quasi-perfect broadband absorption properties over a broad angular range when changing the inclination of the incident radiation. The study also reveals that noble metals (Au, Ag, Cu) do not provide the highest performance for the present application.
Metamaterials with a Dirac-like cone dispersion at the center of the Brillouin zone behave like an isotropic and impedance-matched zero refractive index material at the Dirac-point frequency. Such metamaterials can be realized in the form of either bulk metamaterials with efficient coupling to free-space light or on-chip metamaterials that are efficiently coupled to integrated photonic circuits. These materials enable the interactions of a spatially uniform electromagnetic mode with matter over a large area in arbitrary shapes. This unique optical property paves the way for many applications, including arbitrarily shaped high-transmission waveguides, nonlinear enhancement, and phase mismatch-free nonlinear signal generation, and collective emission of many emitters. This review summarizes the Dirac-like cone-based zero-index metamaterials’ fundamental physics, design, experimental realizations, and potential applications.
Materials with a zero refractive index support electromagnetic modes that exhibit stationary phase profiles. While such materials have been realized across the visible and near-infrared spectral range, radiative and dissipative optical losses have hindered their development. We reduce losses in zero-index, on-chip photonic crystals by introducing high-Q resonances via resonance-trapped and symmetry-protected states. Using these approaches, we experimentally obtain quality factors of 2.6 × 103 and 7.8 × 103 at near-infrared wavelengths, corresponding to an order-of-magnitude reduction in propagation loss over previous designs. Our work presents a viable approach to fabricate zero-index on-chip nanophotonic devices with low-loss.
There is a great need in the biomedical field to efficiently, and cost-effectively, deliver membrane-impermeable molecules into the cellular cytoplasm. However, the cell membrane is a selectively permeable barrier, and large molecules often cannot pass through the phospholipid bilayer. We show that nanosecond laser-activated polymer surfaces of commercial polyvinyl tape and black polystyrene Petri dishes can transiently permeabilize cells for high-throughput, diverse cargo delivery of sizes of up to 150 kDa. The polymer surfaces are biocompatible and support normal cell growth of adherent cells. We determine the optimal irradiation conditions for poration, influx of fluorescent molecules into the cell, and post-treatment viability of the cells. The simple and low-cost substrates we use have no thin-metal structures, do not require cleanroom fabrication, and provide spatial selectivity and scalability for biomedical applications.
ABSTRACT: Spontaneous emission, stimulated emission and absorption are the three fundamental radiative processes describing light−matter interactions. Here, we theoretically study the behavior of these fundamental processes inside an unbounded medium exhibiting a vanishingly small refractive index, i.e., a near-zero-index (NZI) host medium. We present a generalized framework to study these processes and find that the spatial dimension of the NZI medium has profound effects on the nature of the fundamental radiative processes. Our formalism highlights the role of the number of available optical modes as well as the ability of an emitter to couple to these modes as a function of the dimension and the class of NZI media. We demonstrate that the fundamental radiative processes are inhibited in 3D homogeneous lossless zero-index materials but may be strongly enhanced in a zero-index medium of reduced dimensionality. Our findings have implications in thermal, nonlinear, and quantum optics as well as in designing quantum metamaterials at optical or microwave frequencies.
KEYWORDS: near-zero index materials, spontaneous emission, stimulated emission, absorption, fundamental radiative processes
The delivery of biomolecules into cells relies on porating the plasma membrane to allow exterior molecules to enter the cell via diffusion. Various established delivery methods, including electroporation and viral techniques, come with drawbacks such as low viability or immunotoxicity,
respectively. An optics-based delivery method that uses laser pulses to excite plasmonic titanium nitride (TiN) micropyramids presents an opportunity to overcome these shortcomings. This laser excitation generates localized nano-scale heating effects and bubbles, which produce transient pores in the cell membrane for payload entry. TiN is a promising plasmonic material due to its high hardness and thermal stability. In this study, two designs of TiN micropyramid arrays are constructed and tested. These designs include inverted and upright pyramid structures, each coated with a 50-nm layer of TiN. Simulation software shows that the inverted and upright designs reach temperatures of 875 °C and
307 °C, respectively, upon laser irradiation. Collectively, experimental results show that these reusable designs achieve maximum cell poration efficiency greater than 80% and viability greater than 90% when delivering calcein dye to target cells. Overall, we demonstrate that TiN microstructures are strong candidates for future use in biomedical devices for intracellular delivery and regenerative medicine.