Physics and Applications of Negative Refractive Index Materials

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Another advantage of using nanomembrane separators compared to conventional membranes, is that it is easier to retain the desired nanopore aspect ratio in a structure with a nanometer thickness than in a micrometer one. One result of this improved accuracy is that the selectivity of nanomembrane-based filters is additionally enhanced compared to conventional structures. Indeed, nanopores are utilized in, for example, DNA and RNA characterization [ ] and even for the differentiation between molecules which only differ by a single nucleotide [ ].

Here we quote four different approaches to membrane-enhanced selectivity [ ] that can be applied for metasurface-based plasmon sensors. Separation between different molecules is done by their passage through randomly distributed and interconnected macro-, meso- or micropores a particle filter approach.

Larger molecules are rejected, while all smaller particles pass the nanomembrane. The pore distribution itself may be isotropic or anisotropic. Here the membrane typically nanoporous contains positive or negative ions incorporated in the pore walls. These ions bind the oppositely charged analyte particles.

Physics and Applications of Negative Refractive Index Materials

This is an approach utilized solely in nanomembranes, and typically in lipid bilayer organic membranes like those forming the walls of the eukaryotic cells, although various different materials may also be used [ ]. The channel is gated by an external stimulus, for instance by applied voltage or by ligands, which open or close the gate for ion transport, resulting in extremely high selectivity. Various ion channels exist which are permeable to, for example, sodium, potassium, and hydrogen ions only. In this case there are no pores, but the analyte transport proceeds as a combination of particles solution and their further diffusion.

The minute thickness of nanomembranes in this case is again greatly beneficial in increasing the overall speed of the process. Bioassaying through dual patterning is another approach to improve selectivity of CBB sensors. It is connected solely with the metamaterial-based and nanoplasmonic devices. The idea is to utilize metasurface patterning in a dual way. It is known that various kinds of patterning of the substrate may promote adhesion of living cells, from bacteria to animal and human tissue cells [ , , , ].

By performing engineering of the pattern to ensure the desired electromagnetic response for instance, single- or double-negative behavior while simultaneously retaining selective adhesion towards certain types of microorganisms, one may obtain structures which preferentially attract the targeted bioanalytes without any adhesive protein buffer layers. The performance of generalized plasmon sensors based on metasurfaces is limited by fluctuation phenomena which may be caused by various external and internal mechanisms and which result in noise appearing in the sensor readout.


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This is the same situation as with practically any other sensor. In this section we give a short review of the most important intrinsic mechanisms of noise which are connected with the detection mechanism itself and which cause stochastic fluctuations of the measured refractive index at the metasurface. Most of these mechanisms are fundamentally related with the detection process. As far as the intrinsic sources of noise appearing in metasurfaces are concerned, there are three main contributing mechanisms [ ]. The first is identical to the processes occurring with conventional SPP devices and is connected with the adsorption and desorption a—d of analyte particles on the metasurface.

Similar to the generation-recombination noise in photodetectors, this is a fluctuation mechanism connected with the detection process itself and cannot be separated from it [ ]. Another fundamental noise mechanism is Johnson-Nyquist thermal noise, i. Thermal effects are also felt as the fluctuations of the blackbody radiation and as zero-point vacuum fluctuations [ ].

The latter are especially important if the analyte is of a nonlinear substance with polar molecules, as is the case with many organic analytes. Although not fundamental, like a—d noise, it is omnipresent and must be taken into account in realistic situations. The a—d noise has been investigated by Yong and Vig et al. On metasurfaces, analyte particles will adsorb onto them or desorb, modifying the effective refractive index at the interface and causing its fluctuations. In case of physisorption of a single gaseous analyte on the metasurface which forms a monolayer, the change of the refractive index at the surface will be determined by the fluctuations of the number of adsorbed and desorbed particles of the analyte, which is given by an ordinary differential equation of the form.

The time during which the system reaches a stationary state is. The effective refractive index of the adsorbed monolayer is calculated utilizing the simple mixing rule. The spectral power density of refractive index fluctuations is [ , ]. It is important to note that the above equation is applicable both in the case of positive and of negative values of refractive index.

The above procedure may be applied in an analogous manner to calculate the effective permeability or permittivity. An important result obtained when calculating a—d noise at nanoplasmonic surfaces is that it depends on the active area of the metasurfaces and is higher for smaller areas. This is intuitively expected: if an area is smaller, then the same number of adsorbed or desorbed molecules will introduce a higher relative change and thus higher noise. The left term in the bracket describes quantum noise—the zero-point energy of the free electrons vacuum fluctuations , and the right term is the thermal component and describes field fluctuations in blackbody radiation.

Another part of Johnson-Nyquist noise at metasurfaces are thermal fluctuations of ions valid both for the metal and dielectric part. These phonon fluctuations result in fluctuations of the refractive index, as described by Glenn [ ]. At metasurfaces at optical frequencies electron fluctuations should prevail over the phonon ones.

If we assume that the individual noise mechanisms are mutually independent, the total intrinsic noise in a metasurface-based generalized plasmon will be. In this paper we have considered theoretical and experimental approaches to the use of some planar electromagnetic metamaterials metasurfaces in plasmon-based chemical, biochemical or biological sensing. Most of the contemporary experiments with metamaterial-based CBB sensors are limited to planar structures, which is a natural consequence of the fact that they are the easiest to fabricate utilizing the state-of-the-art micro- and nanofabrication technologies.

Although many phenomena and structures connected with the NIM can be used for CBB sensing, in this work we limited ourselves to only the few most important ones. Even the simplest structures considered here, the 1D subwavelength plasmonic crystals laminar ultrathin films which may be freestanding or not exhibit a rich variety of electromagnetic modes, including those with negative and near-zero group velocity, which could be used for chemical or biological sensing. The possibility to use the novel plasmonic scaffold with fully symmetric geometry, the freestanding or free-floating nanomembranes, adds an additional degree of freedom to an already vast field.

The further possibility of directly combining metasurfaces-based sensors both with optical and electronic circuitry also offers a great advantage. Obviously, the field of generalized plasmon sensors is only beginning to develop; the first eligible mechanisms being described, and the first sensors being proposed, only a few years ago. This manuscript outlines the first steps taken and indicates some possible directions for future investigations. As is usually the case with novel fields of research, some prospective approaches may be abandoned and completely new ideas and approaches may, and probably will, appear, but generally it seems that the metamaterial-based CBB sensors as a whole can expect a bright future.

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Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract In this paper we review some metasurfaces with negative values of effective refractive index, as scaffolds for a new generation of surface plasmon polariton-based biological or chemical sensors.


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  4. Keywords: plasmonics, optical metamaterials, artificial nanomembranes, long range surface plasmons polaritons, chemical sensors, biosensors. Introduction The demand for various types of chemical, biochemical or biological CBB sensors is constantly increasing [ 1 ]. An Experimental Outlook to Metamaterial Fabrication and Sensing Applications Different definitions of metamaterials are found in literature.

    Artificial Nanomembranes as Scaffolds for Symmetric Metasurfaces Artificial freestanding or free-floating nanomembranes represent a very convenient platform for the fabrication of metamaterials intended for operation in the optical wavelength range. Open in a separate window.

    Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Metasurfaces Based on Split Ring and Double Split Ring Resonators—Case of Magnetic Metamaterials A more complex case of planar plasmonic crystals are 2D structures with a pattern repeating on the surface in a wallpaper fashion. Figure 6. Figure 7. Some basic forms of split ring resonators with square unit cell. Fishnet Structures—Double Negative Metamaterials A unit cell of a fishnet NIM a double fishnet consists of two parallel metal sheets with a rectangular shape separated by a dielectric layer along the perpendicular direction.

    Figure 8. Figure 9. Figure Metasurface Multifunctionalization for CBB Sensing Functionalization of ultrathin films that comprise metasurfaces can be performed in a variety of ways [ ].

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    Intrinsic Noise Sources The performance of generalized plasmon sensors based on metasurfaces is limited by fluctuation phenomena which may be caused by various external and internal mechanisms and which result in noise appearing in the sensor readout. Conclusions In this paper we have considered theoretical and experimental approaches to the use of some planar electromagnetic metamaterials metasurfaces in plasmon-based chemical, biochemical or biological sensing.

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    Physics and Applications of Negative Refractive Index Materials: 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge

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    Krishnan A. Evanescently coupled resonance in surface plasmon enhanced transmission. Kabashin A. Plasmonic nanorod metamaterials for biosensing. Kim K. Nanowire-based enhancement of localized surface plasmon resonance for highly sensitive detection: A theoretical study. Elser J. When you turn on your flashlight, what do you see?

    One can make a cylindrical mirror by taking a highly reflective metal sheet and bending it into a semi-cylindrical shape. When the concave part of the mirror is facing you, and the semi-cylinder is horizontal, you will see an inverted image of yourself in the mirror.

    What happens to your image when you rotate the cylinder from horizontal to vertical? Looking back at the image of the straw in the glass, the straw appears bent in the image through the top surface of the water, but the image through the side of the glass is parallel to the unsubmerged bit. Why the difference? Have fun! Share this: Tweet. Like this: Like Loading This entry was posted in Optics. Bookmark the permalink. Wade Walker says:. May 21, at pm. October 5, at am. Clive says:. April 29, at am. April 29, at pm. Damon Diehl says:.

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