anisotropic metamaterials for microwave antennas and infrared nanostructured thin films

Open Access
Jiang, Zhihao
Graduate Program:
Electrical Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 18, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Douglas Henry Werner, Dissertation Advisor
  • Douglas Henry Werner, Committee Chair
  • Theresa Stellwag Mayer, Committee Member
  • Pingjuan Li Werner, Committee Member
  • Brian Lewis Weiner, Committee Member
  • electromagnetic
  • metamaterial
  • antenna
  • microwave
  • nanophotonics
  • thin films
Wave-matter interactions have long been investigated to discover unknown physical phenomena and exploited to achieve improved device performance throughout the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from quasi-static limit to microwave frequencies, and even at infrared and optical wavelengths. As a nascent but fast growing field, metamaterial technology, which relies on clusters of artificially engineered subwavelength structures, has been demonstrated to provide a wide variety of exotic electromagnetic properties unattainable in natural materials. This dissertation presents the research on novel anisotropic metamaterials for tailoring microwave radiation and infrared scattering of nanostructured thin films. First, a new inversion algorithm is proposed for retrieving the anisotropic effective medium parameters of a slab of metamaterial. Secondly, low-loss anisotropic metamaterial lenses and coatings are introduced for improving the gain and/or bandwidth for a variety of antennas. In particular, a quad-beam high-gain lens for a quarter-wave monopole, a low-profile grounded leaky metamaterial coating for slot antenna, and an ultra-thin anisotropic metamaterial bandwidth-enhancing coating for a quarter-wave monopole are experimentally demonstrated. In the infrared regime, novel nanostructured metamaterial free-standing thin-films, which are inherently anisotropic, are introduced for achieving exotic index properties and further for practical photonic devices. In particular, a low-loss near-infrared fishnet zero-index metamaterial, a dispersion-engineered optically-thin, low-loss broadband metamaterial filter with a suppressed group delay fluctuation in the mid-infrared, and a conformal dual-band near-perfectly absorbing coating in the mid-infrared are experimentally demonstrated. These explorations show the great promise anisotropic metamaterials hold for the flexible manipulation of electromagnetic waves and their broad applicability in a wide spectrum range.