Optical metamaterials with an artificial subwavelength structure offer new approaches to implement advanced optical devices. However, some of the biggest challenges associated with the development of metamaterials in the visible spectrum are the high costs and slow production speeds of the nanofabrication processes. Here, we demonstrate a macroscale (>35 mm) transformation-optics wave bender (293 mm2) and Luneburg lens (855 mm^2) in the broadband white-light visible wavelength range using the concept of elasto-optic metamaterials that combines optics and solid mechanics. Our metamaterials consist of mesoscopically homogeneous chunks of bulk aerogels with superior, broadband optical transparency across the visible spectrum and an adjustable, stress-tuneable refractive index ranging from 1.43 down to nearly the free space index (∼1.074). The experimental results show that broadband light can be controlled and redirected in a volume of >105λ × 10^5λ × 103λ, which enables natural light to be processed directly by metamaterial-based optical devices without any additional coupling components.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't