Subwavelength Photonics

Pavel Cheben, Iñigo Molina Fernandez, David Smith, Weidong Zhou and Pierre Berini

At an OSA Incubator Meeting, scientists and engineers explored the opportunities and emerging applications enabled by controlling light at subwavelength scale.

figureA helical photonic crystal fiber. [Max Planck Institute]

Since Heinrich Hertz’s experiments and Lord Rayleigh’s theoretical studies of the 19th century, scientists and researchers have sought to control the flow of electromagnetic waves in materials structured at subwavelength scales. More recently, the discipline of subwavelength photonics has seen tremendous progress, particularly in nanostructured engineered materials: metamaterials, metallic and dielectric subwavelength structures, subwavelength engineered waveguides and photonic crystals. The novel optical properties found in these structures—along with the capability, through advanced fabrication techniques, to control their optical responses with high accuracy—has opened new prospects for controlling and manipulating light at subwavelength scale, and for applications that leverage such control.

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