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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 27, Iss. 11 — Jun. 1, 2002
  • pp: 885–887

Is there an experimental verification of a negative index of refraction yet?

N. Garcia and M. Nieto-Vesperinas  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 27, Issue 11, pp. 885-887 (2002)

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We show that recent claims of experimental verification of a negative index of refraction in metallic metamaterials, “left-handed” microwave frequencies, are questionable. At these frequencies the imaginary part of the dielectric permittivity is significant or even dominates its real part, and hence the effective medium behaves as a metal, i.e., with losses below the cutoff frequency of relevance. Then, the refractive index is complex, and there is not a distinction between right- and left-handed material because the electromagnetic wave is inhomogeneous. Just by using this idea we explain the transmittivities that were recently obtained in experiments by Shelby et al. [Science 292, 77 (2001) and Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 489 (2001)].

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.2690) General : General physics
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics

N. Garcia and M. Nieto-Vesperinas, "Is there an experimental verification of a negative index of refraction yet?," Opt. Lett. 27, 885-887 (2002)

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  1. V. G. Veselago, Sov. Phys. Usp. 10, 509 (1968).
  2. R. A. Shelby, D. R. Smith, and S. Schultz, Science 292, 77 (2001).
  3. L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifshitz, Electrodinámica de los Medios Continuos (Editorial Reverté, Barcelona, Spain, 1981).
  4. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 7th ed. (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, England, 1999).
  5. J. D. Jackson, Electrodinámica Clasica (Editorial Alhambra, Madrid, Spain, 1980).
  6. D. R. Smith, W. J. Padilla, D. C. Vier, S. C. Nemat-Nasser, and S. Schultz, Phys. Ref. Lett. 84, 4184 (2000).
  7. R. A. Shelby, D. R. Smith, S. C. Nemat-Nasser, and S. Schultz, Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 489 (2001).
  8. N. Garcia and E. V. Ponizowskaya are preparing a manuscript to be called “Determination of effective permittivity from finite-difference time-domain calculations.”
  9. N. Garcia and M. Nieto-Vesperinas “Left-handed materials do not make a perfect lens,” Phys. Rev. Lett. (to be published).

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