Affiliated with the
Communication & Space
Sciences Laboratory


(Last Update : 1/11/2019)

January, 2019

A Metamaterial-enabled Design Enhancing Decades-old Short Backfire Antenna Technology for Space Applications

" 'Our antenna is smaller, lighter weight, has higher efficiency, is more mechanically robust than the heritage designs used on GPS satellites, and can withstand the tough space environment.' "

"The partnership between Lockheed Martin and Penn State researchers was critical in making this vision of an improved antenna a reality. "


August, 2018

Reconfigurable Near-IR Metasurface Based on Ge2Sb2Te5 Phase-Change Material

"Tunable composite optical materials with tailored properties are highly sought after. The near-infrared and visible frequency ranges remain the most challenging for achieving strong and fast tunability. Authors of this work have demonstrated an optimized metamaterial made of a chalcogenide composite structure, which switches between high transmission and low transmission states without a substantial change in reflection. What is important is that in the amorphous phase the material has relatively low loss and the transmission is high. This gives the presented metamaterial an advantage over the metal-based structures, where losses are typically higher in the near-infrared range. "


April, 2018

Apochromatic Singlets Enabled by Metasurface-Augmented GRIN Lenses

"Researchers led by Douglas Werner at The Pennsylvania State University have now discovered a method for significantly improving imaging across visible and infrared wavelengths. For visible light, Werner’s method would achieve superior focusing of three different colors when compared to conventional and state-of the art techniques. Werner’s results, published recently in Optica, could be used to improve designs for many imaging applications."


August, 2017

Conformal Metasurface Coating Eliminates Crosstalk and Shrinks Waveguides

"This experimentally demonstrated highly confined sub-wavelength dielectric waveguide with a low-visibility and broadband optical activity represents a transformative wave manipulation capability with far reaching implications, offering new pathways for future miniaturization of dielectric waveguide-based systems with simultaneous polarization and scattering control "

October, 2016

Hybrid Metamaterials for Electrically Triggered Multifunctional Control

"The proposed hybrid metamaterial integrated with transition materials represents a major step forward by providing a universal approach to creating self-sufficient and highly versatile nanophotonic systems."


January, 2016

Functionalized Metamaterials Enable Frequency and Polarization Agility in a Miniaturized Lightweight Antenna Package

"Dramatic size reductions are made possible by using a tunable, lightweight, miniaturized metamaterial. Tuning the metamaterial and antenna in tandem provides a dynamic operating channel, with a tunable, nearly arbitrary polarization response as an added benefit. "


January, 2016

Evolving random fractal Cantor superlattices for the infrared using a genetic algorithm

"A nature-inspired method to model the reflection of light from the skin of silvery fish and other organisms may be possible, according to Penn State researchers. Such a technique may be applicable to developing better broadband reflectors and custom multi-spectral filters for a wide variety of applications, including advanced optical coatings for glass, laser protection, infrared imaging systems, optical communication systems and photovoltaics"


June, 2015

Improved Electromagnetic Optimization:
The covariance adaptation evolutionary strategy.

"The covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy (CMA-ES) is explored here as an improved alternative to well-established algorithms used in electromagnetic (EM) optimization. In the past, methods such as the genetic algorithm (GA), particle swarm optimization (PSO), and differential evolution (DE) have commonly been used for EM design. In this article we examine and compare the performance of CMA-ES, PSO, and DE when applied to test functions an several challenging EM design problems."


June 30, 2015

Restoring Intrinsic Properties of Electromagnetic Radiators Using Ultra-Lightweight Integrated Metasurface Cloaks

"The concept of invisibility has garnered long-standing interest throughout human history but has only been realized experimentally within the past decade, albeit over a limited bandwidth. While the physical wave phenomenon of a reduced scattering signature has been demonstrated with different cloaking methods such as transformation optics and scattering cancellation, such technology has yet to be incorporated into any practical real-world devices. This work introduces a general design approach to bridge the gap between the theory and practice for cloaks, which is applicable to microwave, terahertz, and optical radiators, as well as acoustic and thermal sources."


June 19, 2015

An Active Metamaterial Platform for Chiral Responsive Optoelectronics

"Chiral-selective nonlinear optics and optoelectronic signal generation are demonstrated in an electrically active photonic metamaterial. The metamaterial reveals significant chiroptical responses in both the harmonic generation and photon drag effect, correlated to the resonance behavior in the linear regime. The multifunctional chiral metamaterial with dual electrical and optical functionality enables transduction of chiroptical responses to electrical signals for integrated photonics."


December 19, 2014

Broadband and Wide Field-of-view Plasmonic Metasurface-enabled Waveplates

"Quasi two-dimensional metasurfaces composed of subwavelength nanoresonator arrays can dramatically alter the properties of light in an ultra-thin planar geometry, enabling new optical functions such as anomalous reflection and refraction, polarization filtering, and wavefront modulation. Here we demonstrate plasmonic metasurface-based nanostructures for high-efficiency, angle-insensitive polarization transformation over a broad octave-spanning bandwidth. This work outlines a versatile strategy to create metasurface-based photonics with diverse optical functionalities."

October 9, 2014

Quasi-Three-Dimensional Angle-Tolerant Electromagnetic Illusion Using Ultrathin Metasurface Coatings

"For the first time, the theory, practical design, and experimental demonstration of quasi-three-dimensional and angle-tolerant electromagnetic illusion coatings are presented which have been enabled by ultrathin single-layer functional metasurfaces. This work paves the way for practical artificially engineered material coatings with exotic and versatile scattering control capabilities that would enable a wide range of applications throughout the entire electromagnetic spectrum."

January 28, 2014

Near-Ideal Optical Metamaterial Absorbers with Super-Octave Bandwidth

"This demonstration advances the state-of-the-art in high-performance broadband metamaterial absorbers that can be reliably fabricated using a single patterned layer of metal nanostructures."

March 28, 2013

Tailoring Dispersion for Broadband Low-loss Optical Metamaterials Using Deep-subwavelength Inclusions

"This powerful design approach overcomes the narrow bandwidth limitations of previous optical metamaterials, which dramatically expands the opportunities to create new and practical metamaterial-enabled devices and components."

November 23, 2012

Integrated Photonic Systems Based on Transformation Optics Enabled Gradient Index Devices

"Transformation optics devices that perform diverse, simple functions can be integrated to build complex photonic systems for optical communications, imaging, computing and sensing."

January 30, 2011

An Octave-bandwidth Negligible-loss Radiofrequency Metamaterial

"These results help lay to rest the widely held viewpoint that metamaterials are primarily an academic curiosity and, due to their narrow bandwidth and relatively high loss, will never find their way into real-world devices."