Optical Metamaterials: From Linear Responses to Nonlinear Interactions and Beyond
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Metamaterials are commonly viewed as artificially-structured media capable of realizing arbitrary effective parameters, in which metals and dielectrics are delicately combined to facilitate the index contrast and plasmonic response required for a particular purpose. We aim to drive beyond this limited vision and explore the use of optical metamaterials as a generalizable platform for optoelectronic information technology: Metals will provide tailored plasmonic behavior as before, but will serve double duty by providing electrical functions including voltage input, carrier injection/extraction, and heat sinking, and dielectrics will consist of functional elements such as Kerr materials, electrooptic polymers, and p-n junctions. In this talk I will discuss our preliminary results on several topics in this category, including the electrically induced harmonic generation and optical rectification of light in a perfect metamaterial absorber, the nonlinear spectroscopy and imaging from a chiral metamaterial, and the backward phase-matching in an optical metamaterial where the fundamental and frequency-doubled waves possess opposite indices of refraction.