The research activities target the design, optimization, fabrication and characterization of Photonic Crystals, Metamaterials and frequency-agile metamaterials (or Metamorphic materials) in 3 dimensions and 2 dimensions (Metasurfaces) as they interact with electromagnetic waves. Further, the activities cover applications of these systems in a variety of novel RF devices of interest to wireless communications. Metamaterials are a class of artificially designed composite materials possessing important physical properties not found in natural homogeneous materials. Examples of such properties are resonant permitivities that reach values less than 1, resonant permeabilities arising from non-magnetic material ingredients, or dispersive refractive indices reaching negative values. Another important metamaterial class is that of Artificial Magnetic Conductors (AMC). These are novel artificial composite materials specifically designed to act as shields that totally reflect electromagnetic radiation, similar to electric conductors, but amplifying by 100% the tangential electric field incident on their surface, rather than canceling it as electric conductors do. Thus, AMC's create images of electric currents that have the same sign as the original excitations that illuminate them.
Other examples are metamaterials that create frequency-dependent transparency windows for electromagnetic radiation, while they remain completely opaque at all other frequencies.
These unique properties are of great interest for creating novel functionalities in electromagnetically active filters, integration substrates for antenna applications and electromagnetic lenses.
We focus on the study of both passive and electronically controlled (smart) structures.
We are placing special importance on applications relating to the new generations of mm-wave integrated radio transceivers offer very large bandwidths and data transmission speeds, leading to a multitude of 5G platforms and future 6G systems currently under study at even higher frequencies. Due to the high frequencies involved, antennas and arrays can for the first time be realistically integrated on the package of the transceivers, as the areas involved are commensurate with transceiver package sizes and, further, smart composite materials may also be integrated in these form factors. These possibilities are very promising for 5G and 6G networks but also for Internet of Things (IoT) applications that can be deployed in those bands. More generally, we are focusing on applications in novel embedded antenna architectures, scanning and smart antenna arrays, filters, waveguides and resonators operating in the microwave/mm-wave region, for integration into novel RF transceivers of interest to current and future wireless communications needs relevant to the evolving industries of Internet of Things, 5G/6G networks, Electromagnetic Energy Harvesting as well as the nascent industry of Wireless Charging. Many of the approaches we are using are also scalable to optical frequencies, with proper modifications, and we are actively exploring collaborations with other INN groups working in complementary research activities in photonics.