Metamaterials are one of the unique materials that can change the course of the optics and electronics domain. But, considering its properties and behavior, it is not easy to develop metamaterials in the real-world. Hence, assembling metamaterials can become a tedious task for scientists and researchers. There is a need for more efforts to ensure its stability and development. So, a research team from the University of Minnesota developed a one-step method to create metamaterials, along with their unique properties. This method can work as a game-changer for the future work and methodology of metamaterials production. Let’s explore more information on metamaterials, the news about metamaterials, and how metamaterials can ensure humankind’s betterment.
About the Research
Scientists from the University of Minnesota published about the self-constructed and assembled one-step process of metamaterials in Nano Letters. The American Chemical Society publishes the Nano Letters journal that gets peer-reviewed by the scientific community. They devised this method when studying a thin film material named strontium stannate (chemical formula: SrSnO3). During the research, scientists observed that there is a formation of some kind of checkered board patterns. These patterns were at the nanoscale and observed through a high-powered microscope. It seemed similar to the metamaterial structure fabrication. Earlier, scientists thought this inference could be a mistake, but after consulting about the same Georgia University and New York University, they got confirmation about the metamaterials.
How scientists demonstrated the observations?
After getting the observation dataset, the team from the University of Minnesota developed a demonstration to create metamaterials. It was the first-ever tunable nanostructure that enabled self assemblage of metamaterials. During the demonstration, the scientists showed that there is a probability to store and maintain an electrical charge in the thin film of strontium stannate. They used the temperature and the wavelength of the laser to hold the electrical charge. Due to this charge storing facility, the team was able to create a variable photonic crystal that has an efficiency of up to 99 percent.
Inference from the Experiment
The observation from the data helped to get concrete evidence on the self-assemblage of metamaterials. During the observation of the thin film material, strontium stannate, scientists saw that the boundaries observed through the microscope between the crystals are sharp and distinct. Hence, it became the sole and most consolidated fact regarding the self-assemblage. Reverse engineering has also helped to host many possibilities regarding the structural phase transformation in photonic systems and nanomaterials.
What are the Metamaterials?
Metamaterials are those materials formed synthetically and not found in nature in their nascent form. There is an assemblage of many materials, including metals, plastics, and other compounds to form any metamaterial. Metamaterials exhibit very unique and distinct properties. The properties like size, orientation, and structure, shape the characteristics of any metamaterials, especially on the optical front. In terms of optical traits, it is quite surprising to see substances like metamaterials possessing a negative refractive index. This negative refractive index is also termed as left-handed media or backward wave media. Thus, it finds its applications in disciplines, including optoelectronics, semiconductor engineering, microwave and antenna engineering, nanoscience, etc.
Application of Metamaterials
- Traffic control
- Smart solar power management
- Infrastructure monitoring
- Sensor detection
- Optical filters
- Medical devices
- High-frequency battlefield communication
- Radome development
It is one of the most outstanding achievements for the entire scientific community. The observation will help to ensure that metamaterials can have a real presence in the real-world. Their synthesis and more comprehensive research will open many applications and domains where engineers and scientists can harness metamaterials for betterment. They hold immense potential to design and revamp nanoelectronics, optical engineering, semiconductor electronics, memory electronics, etc.