Materials with a negative index of refraction (NIR) were
originally proposed in 1967 by V. G. Veselago, "The Electrodynamics
of Substances With Simultaneously Negative Values of e
and m," Usp. Fiz. Nauk 92, 517-526
(1967) [English translation: Sov. Phys. Usp. 10, 509-514 (1968)].
Veselago coined the phrase "left-handed substance"
in this paper. These materials are often known as Left-Handed Materials
(LHM). The Poynting vector S is in the opposite direction to the wave
vector k in an NIR material. The wavevector k is in the direction of the
phase velocity, while the group velocity points in the opposite direction.
He states that NIR is equivalent to "substance with negative group
His predictions include:
- Reversed Doppler Effect. A detector moving in an LHM
would perceive fewer wave fronts if it was moving towards the source
because of the reversal of the phase velocity. The opposite occurs if
the receiver is in an LHM moving away.
- Reversed Cerenkov Effect. The cone of light emission
in an LHM will be backward relative to the direction of motion of the
- Negative Refraction. At a boundary between two media,
1 and 2, the tangential components of E and H are continuous. However,
the normal components can change sign if the two media have opposite
signs for the index of refraction. This will cause the refracted ray
to be on the same side of the normal as the incident ray. Note that
there is no change in the reflected ray.
- n=-1 Flat Lensing. Predicts that a flat slab of n=-1
material will focus rays from a point source a distance l from the left-hand
side of the slab to a point image a distance d-l from the right-hand
side of the slab, where d is the slab thickness. Pendry (2000) later
predicted that these images would be "perfect" under ideal
- Reversal of Optical Refracting Elements. Predicts that
n=-1 concave and convex lenses will switch roles as compared to n>0
versions of these lenses.
- Reversal of Radiation Pressure. A monochromatic wave
in an LHM is a stream of photons with k pointing toward the source,
and p = hk. When absorbed, these photons will impart negative momentum
and create radiation tension rather than pressure.
- Dispersion Requirement. Veselago argues that and cannot
be negative at all frequencies because it would lead to a negative total
Compelling experimental evidence for NIR/LHM behavior
has been seen through negative index passbands, negative refraction, and
apparent super-resolution imaging. These demonstrations have been made
at room temperature in artificial loop-wire, dual circuit, and photonic
An important prediction for NIR materials is evanescent wave amplification
under the ideal condition of n = -1 + i 0 precisely. This property
will permit, in principle, image reconstruction with arbitrary precision
and detail as demonstrated, for example, in calculations of flat-lens
transfer functions. However, these theoretical works also show that ideal
evanescent wave amplification suffers from three important constraints;
the real part of n must be -1, exactly, the metamaterial must be thin
(compared to the wavelength) to minimize retardation effects, and the
imaginary part of n must be much less than 1, so that there is very little
damping. The first two constraints can be satisfied, in principle, with
appropriate engineering of existing metamaterials. However, significant
losses have a debilitating effect on most designs. We utilize superconducting metamaterials to minimize loss and enable new properties. Our work has established the field of superconducting metamaterials and shown how it can be used to create novel manipulations of RF and microwave signals. Superconductors also introduce strong nonlinearity, and this too can be exploited to create remarkable new effects.
Prof. Anlage talk: "Physics
and Applications of Negatively Refracting Electromagnetic Materials"
Michael Ricci's Ph.D. thesis
News article about our Radio Frequency Superconducting Metamaterials
Recent review articles about metamaterials: Eleftheriades; Itoh; Jung
Our work has focused on developing ultra-low loss superconducting
metamaterials. The work is supported by the National Science Foundation
NSF/ECS-0322844, the NSF-GOALI program through grant #ECCS-1158644, and the DNI Post-Doc program. We thank Peter Kneisel and Larry Turlington of Jefferson Lab for their assistance in the fabriaction of our bulk Niobium superconducitng metamaterials.
Some relevant papers: (All papers can be downloaded from the full publication list)
105. Michael Ricci, Nathan Orloff, and Steven M. Anlage,
"Superconducting Metamaterials," Appl. Phys. Lett. 87,
034102 (2005). pdf
111. Michael Ricci, and Steven M. Anlage, “Single Superconducting Split-Ring Resonator Electrodynamics,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 88 , 264102 (2006). pdf
120. Michael Ricci, Hua Xu, Steven M. Anlage, Ruslan Prozorov, Alexander P. Zhuravel, and Alexey Ustinov , “Tunability of Superconducting Metamaterials,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 17, 918 - 921 (2007).
DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2007.898535 . pdf
Cihan Kurter, Steven M. Anlage, “Superconductivity takes the stage in the field of metamaterials,” SPIE Newsroom, February (2010).
DOI: 10.1117/2.1201002.002543. pdf
Steven M. Anlage. "The Physics and Applications of Superconducting Metamaterials," J. Opt. 13, 024001 (2011). pdf
Cihan Kurter, John Abrahams, Steven M. Anlage, “Miniaturized Superconducting Metamaterials for Radio Frequencies,”Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 253504 (2010). pdf
C. Kurter, A. P. Zhuravel, J. Abrahams, C. L. Bennett, A. V. Ustinov, S. M. Anlage, “Superconducting RF Metamaterials Made with Magnetically Active Planar Spirals,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 21, 709-712 (2011). pdf
Lei Zhang, Philippe Tassin, Thomas Koschny, Cihan Kurter, Steven M. Anlage, and C. M. Soukoulis, “Large group delay in a microwave metamaterial analogue of electromagnetically induced transparency,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 241904 (2010). pdf
Cihan Kurter, Alexander P. Zhuravel, Alexey V. Ustinov, Steven M. Anlage, “Microscopic examination of hot spots giving rise to nonlinearity in superconducting resonators,” Phys. Rev. B 84, 104515 (2011). pdf
Cihan Kurter, Philippe Tassin, Lei Zhang, Thomas Koschny, Alexander P. Zhuravel, Alexey V. Ustinov, Steven M. Anlage, and Costas M. Soukoulis, “Classical Analogue of Electromagnetically Induced Transparency with a Metal/Superconductor Hybrid Metamaterial,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 043901 (2011). pdf
Cihan Kurter, Philippe Tassin, Alexander P. Zhuravel, Lei Zhang, Thomas Koschny, Alexey V. Ustinov, Costas M. Soukoulis, and Steven M. Anlage, “Switching Nonlinearity in a Superconductor-Enhanced Metamaterial,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 121906 (2012). pdf
A. P. Zhuravel, C. Kurter, A. V. Ustinov, and S. M. Anlage, “Unconventional RF Photo-Response from a Superconducting Spiral Resonator,” Phys. Rev. B 85, 134535 (2012). pdf.
Behnood G. Ghamsari, John Abrahams, Cihan Kurter, and Steven M. Anlage, “High-Temperature Superconducting Spiral Resonator for Metamaterial Applications,”IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 23, 1500304 (2013). pdf
Behnood G. Ghamsari, John Abrahams, Steven M. Anlage, “High-Temperature Superconducting Multi-Band Radio-Frequency Metamaterial Atoms,”Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 013503 (2013). pdf
V. Savinov, V. A. Fedotov, S. M. Anlage, P. A. J. de Groot, N. I. Zheludev, “Modulating Sub-THz Radiation with Current in Superconducting Metamaterial,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 243904 (2012). pdf
M. Trepanier, Daimeng Zhang, Steven M. Anlage, Oleg Mukhanov, “Realization and Modeling of Metamaterials Made of rf Superconducting Quantum-Interference Devices,” Phys. Rev. X 3, 041029 (2013). pdf
166. Cihan Kurter, J. Abrahams, G. Shvets, Steven M. Anlage, “Plasmonic Scaling of Superconducting Metamaterials,” Phys. Rev. B 88, 180510(R) (2013). pdf
Philipp Jung, Alexey V. Ustinov, Steven M. Anlage, “Progress in Superconducting Metamaterials,” submitted to Supercond. Sci. Tech. March 2014. arXiv:1403.6514