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RX: Materials and Manufacturing Directorate - Library Resources: Metamaterials

Definition

Metamaterials are artificial materials engineered to have properties that may not be found in nature. They are assemblies of multiple individual elements fashioned from conventional microscopic materials such as metals or plastics, but the materials are usually arranged in repeating patterns.  Metamaterials gain their properties not from their composition, but from their exactingly-designed structures. Their precise shape, geometry, size, orientation and arrangement can affect the waves of light (electromagnetic radiation) or sound in an unconventional manner, creating material properties which are unachievable with conventional materials.

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Metamaterials and Composites Research at Universities

  • University of Washington Laboratory of Engineered Materials and Structures: Our research in the Laboratory of Engineered Materials and Structures (LEMS) is directed towards designing and developing advanced engineered structures through the creation of novel materials systems, e.g., mechanical metamaterials, phononic crystals, and composites. These materials offer an enhanced degree of freedom in controlling their mechanical responses under harsh environments, such as impact and vibrations. Based on the understanding of their mechanics, we aim to enhance safety, performance, and sustainability of next-generation aerospace, mechanical, and biomechanical structures.

  • Center for Metamaterials: NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center: One of several NSF I/UCRCs, the Center has three core facitities: Clarkson: The Center for Advanced Materials Processing; UNCC: The Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications; UNCC: Advanced Microelectronic Materials Laboratory; UNCC: The Microelectronics Fabrication Laboratory; CUNY: The Metamaterials Research and Development Laboratory; CUNY: The Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in Photonics Applications; CUNY: The Institute for Ultrafast Lasers and Spectroscopy. The major research thrusts of the Center include: microwave and THz technologies, optical components, sensors, and sustainable energy technologies.

  • University of Maryland Department of Materials Science and Engineering: Metamaterials: Metamaterials are composite systems whose properties are dominated not by the individual atoms, but by the properties of larger, artificially produced structures or "meta-atoms."  The most famous types of metamaterials are those in which the interaction with light is markedly different than in conventional materials: in some cases the index of refraction which determines the speed of light can even be negative-light bends in the opposite sense from common experience in these materials! Possible applications are invisibility cloaks, and aberration free lenses.

  • Duke University Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics: Metamaterials are artificially structured materials used to control and manipulate light, sound, and many other physical phenomena. The properties of metamaterials are derived both from the inherent properties of their constituent materials, as well as from the geometrical arrangement of those materials. Though there are many structures that qualify as metamaterials, the most common is that of an arrangement of elements whose size and spacing is much smaller relative to the scale of spatial variation of the exciting field. In this limit, the responses of the individual elements, as well as their interactions, can often be incorporated (or homogenized) into continuous, effective material parameters; the collection of discrete elements is thus replaced conceptually by a hypothetical continuous material.

  • University of Nottingham Composites Research Group: The Composites Research group at Nottingham is one of the leading international research groups in this area. The group has worked for over 25 years on Composites Science and Manufacturing projects, focusing on the processing and performance of advanced fibre composites.

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