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Optical Materials Express

Optical Materials Express

  • Editor: David J. Hagan
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 6 — Oct. 1, 2011
  • pp: 1061–1064
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Toward curvilinear metamaterials based on silver-filled alumina templates [Invited]

Yu. A. Barnakov, N. Kiriy, P. Black, H. Li, A. V. Yakim, L. Gu, M. Mayy, E. E. Narimanov, and M. A. Noginov  »View Author Affiliations


Optical Materials Express, Vol. 1, Issue 6, pp. 1061-1064 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OME.1.001061


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Abstract

The method of fabrication of bulk three-dimensional curvilinear metamaterials based on metallic nanowires grown in porous alumina membranes was developed. Morphologically, fabricated structures resemble those earlier proposed for the design of an optical cloak and a hyperlens. Feasibility and flexibility of the suggested technological platform paws the road to engineering novel curvilinear hyperbolic metamaterials via inexpensive non-lithographic routes.

© 2011 OSA

1. Introduction

The advent of metamaterials and their development over the past decade has revolutionized the research fields of electrodynamics and photonics, giving a new perspective to classical interaction of light with matter and enabling scores of unparalleled physical phenomena [1

1. J. B. Pendry, “Negative refraction makes a perfect lens,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(18), 3966–3969 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3

3. V. M. Shalaev, “Optical negative-index metamaterials,” Nat. Photonics 1(1), 41–48 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Among most fascinating proposed metamaterials’ applications, bridging the gap between science fiction and reality, are the sub-diffraction imaging [1

1. J. B. Pendry, “Negative refraction makes a perfect lens,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(18), 3966–3969 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,4

4. Z. Jacob, L. V. Alekseyev, and E. E. Narimanov, “Optical hyperlens: far-field imaging beyond the diffraction limit,” Opt. Express 14(18), 8247–8256 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8

8. J. Rho, Z. Ye, Y. Xiong, X. Yin, Z. Liu, H. Choi, G. Bartal, and X. Zhang, “Spherical hyperlens for two-dimensional sub-diffractional imaging at visible frequencies,” Nat. Commun. 1(9), 143 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and invisibility cloaking [9

9. D. Schurig, J. J. Mock, B. J. Justice, S. A. Cummer, J. B. Pendry, A. F. Starr, and D. R. Smith, “Metamaterial electromagnetic cloak at microwave frequencies,” Science 314(5801), 977–980 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,10

10. W. Cai, U. K. Chettiar, A. V. Kildishev, and V. M. Shalaev, “Optical cloaking with metamaterials,” Nat. Photonics 1(4), 224–227 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Despite of recent tremendous progress in both theory and experiment, the research field of metamaterials is hindered by a lack of inexpensive large-size three-dimensional media. One way to overcome this problem is to utilize bulk dielectric templates, which nanoporous space can be filled with metals or other dielectrics [11

11. G. A. Wurtz, W. Dickson, D. O’Connor, R. Atkinson, W. Hendren, P. Evans, R. Pollard, and A. V. Zayats, “Guided plasmonic modes in nanorod assemblies: strong electromagnetic coupling regime,” Opt. Express 16(10), 7460–7470 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14

14. M. A. Noginov, Yu. A. Barnakov, G. Zhu, T. Tumkur, H. Li, and E. Narimanov, “Bulk photonic metamaterial with hyperbolic dispersion,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94(15), 151105 (2009). [CrossRef]

].

Recently, we have demonstrated [14

14. M. A. Noginov, Yu. A. Barnakov, G. Zhu, T. Tumkur, H. Li, and E. Narimanov, “Bulk photonic metamaterial with hyperbolic dispersion,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94(15), 151105 (2009). [CrossRef]

] that an array of silver nanowires embedded into a flat alumina membrane matrix with 35nm-diameter pores behaves as a metamaterial with hyperbolic dispersion, characterized by dielectric permittivity components of opposite signs in two perpendicular directions. Negative refraction in a similar metamaterial has been demonstrated in [12

12. J. Yao, Z. Liu, Y. Liu, Y. Wang, C. Sun, G. Bartal, A. M. Stacy, and X. Zhang, “Optical negative refraction in bulk metamaterials of nanowires,” Science 321(5891), 930 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

Hyperbolic metamaterials based on arrays of nanowires (Fig. 1c) are inherently much less lossy than those based on lamellar or multi-layered metal-dielectric structures (Fig. 1a) and, correspondingly, they are much more attractive for hyperlens and transformation optics applications. At the same time, the technology of curvilinear nanoporous templates and arrays of nanowires with radial or hair brush morphologies remains to be largely unexplored.

In this work, we have developed inexpensive non-lithographic techniques aimed at fabrication of curvilinear hyperbolic metamaterials, which morphology resembles those of a hyperlens or an optical cloak. Three targeted geometries nick-named as hair brush, folded sheet, and urchin are depicted in Figs. 2a
Fig. 2 Explored metamaterials’ morphologies: hair brush (a), folded sheet (b), and urchin (c).
, 2b, and 2c.

We show that versatility and flexibility of the developed methods allow one to fabricate three-dimensional curvilinear metamaterials of practically any desired size and shape, Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Alumina membranes of three different targeted shapes – folded sheet (a), swiss roll (b) and urchin (c) grown from folded, rolled and indented aluminum foil sheets under anodic bias in oxalic acid. The resolution of the images is not sufficient to see the pores.
.

Two major technological phases involving (i) fabrication of curved nanoporous alumina templates and (ii) filling the pores with silver nanowires are discussed below.

2. Fabrication and Characterization

Aluminum foils (99.99%) with the thicknesses of 25 μm and 100 μm and aluminum wires (99.99%) with the diameters equal to 50 µm and 500 µm have been acquired from Alfa Aesar. At the first step of the process, aluminum samples were rolled, folded, pressed, or micro-indented to obtain desired shapes and curvatures, Fig. 3. At the second step, the samples were annealed for four hours at 450°C in order to enlarge aluminum polycrystalline grain sizes. This was required for uniform anodization as discussed below. Then the specimens were electrochemically polished for three minutes in a mixture of perchloric acid and ethanol (volume ratio 1:4) to obtain mirror-finished surfaces. After that, a two-stage anodization was carried out in 0.3 M oxalic acid (used as an electrolyte) at constant DC voltage of 40 V. One hour of anodization was followed by removal of the grown porous oxide (via overnight soaking the specimen in the mixture of diluted phosphoric and chromic acids), after which the anodization was repeated for another four hours. This two-stage process converted aluminum to alumina and produced hexagonally arranged nanopores of high quality and uniformity, Fig. 4a
Fig. 4 (a) Image of a typical honeycomb nanoporous structure in an alumina membrane (top view). (b) Cross-section of radially oriented nanoporous in an urchin geometry. (c) Radially oriented nanopores formed around the defect (void) in an aluminum metal.
. At the last step, pores of fabricated curvilinear alumina membranes were filled with silver nanowires (Fig. 5
Fig. 5 Etched edge of the folded sheet curvilinear alumina membrane filled with silver nanowires (a). A thin layer of aluminum, which was not converted to alumina in the process of anodization (b), was used as an electrode at electroplating.
) using standard AC electroplating technique [15

15. L. P. Bicelli, B. Bozzini, C. Mele, and L. D’Urzo, “A review of nanostructural aspects of metal deposition,” Int. J. Electrochem. Sci. 3, 356–408 (2008).

]. The mixture of aqueous solutions of silver nitrate (0.2M) and boric acid (0.05M) was used as an electrolyte, graphite rod served as a counter electrode, and a gold film deposited on the membrane’s surface or remaining thin aluminum layer (which was not converted to alumina) served as a working electrode. The process continued for one hour at applied voltage equal to 10 V and AC frequency equal to 200 Hz.

Structural characterization of fabricated samples was done by using field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM, Hitachi 5700), scanning electron microscope (SEM, JEOL JSM 5900LV), atomic force microscope (AFM, Multiview 4000, Nanonics), optical microscope with x7000 magnification (HIROX), as well as an optical microscope with lower resolution.

3. Results and Discussion

As nanopores grow perpendicular to the material’s surface, radially oriented channels can be readily produced in urchin and folded sheet geometries as well as around voids in aluminum metal, Figs. 4b, 4c, and 5, As follows from Fig. 3a, the ratio of the outer and inner radii of the fabricated curvilinear alumina matrix is approximately equal to ten.

This ratio would determine the magnification of a hyperperlens with the same geometry. Many fabricated alumina matrixes were succesfully filled with silver (Fig. 5), resulting in structures morphologically similar to those proposed for a hyperlens and optical cloak, Figs. 1 b and 1c. Anodization and electroplating have been realized in aluminum wire (not shown) mimiking a hair brush architecture of Figs. 1c and 2a. Demonstration of a principle possibility to fabricate metamaterials with morphological resemblence and potentional functionality of a hyperlens and an optical cloak is the central result of this work.

4. Conclusion

We have demonstrated the feasibility and flexibility of a porous alumina membrane nano-template approach toward fabrication of curvilinear highly anisotropic and hyperbolic metamaterials. This inexpensive synthetic route opens a door to design and fabrication of large, three-dimensional bulk metamaterials for a number of practical applications ranging from optical cloaking to broad band sub-wavelength imaging.

Acknowledgments

The work was partly supported by the NSF PREM grant # DMR 0611430, NSF NCN grant # EEC-0228390, AFOSR grant # FA9550-09-1-0456, NSF IGERT grant # DGE 0966188, subcontract from UTC # 10-S567-001502C4, and W911NF-09-1-0539.

References and links

1.

J. B. Pendry, “Negative refraction makes a perfect lens,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(18), 3966–3969 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

2.

R. A. Shelby, D. R. Smith, and S. Schultz, “Experimental verification of a negative index of refraction,” Science 292(5514), 77–79 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

V. M. Shalaev, “Optical negative-index metamaterials,” Nat. Photonics 1(1), 41–48 (2007). [CrossRef]

4.

Z. Jacob, L. V. Alekseyev, and E. E. Narimanov, “Optical hyperlens: far-field imaging beyond the diffraction limit,” Opt. Express 14(18), 8247–8256 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

A. Salandrino and N. Engheta, “Far-field subdiffraction optical microscopy using metamaterials crystals: theory and simulations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 075103 (2006). [CrossRef]

6.

Z. Liu, H. Lee, Y. Xiong, C. Sun, and X. Zhang, “Far-field optical hyperlens magnifying sub-diffraction-limited objects,” Science 315(5819), 1686 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

I. I. Smolyaninov, Y.-J. Hung, and C. C. Davis, “Magnifying superlens in the visible frequency range,” Science 315(5819), 1699–1701 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8.

J. Rho, Z. Ye, Y. Xiong, X. Yin, Z. Liu, H. Choi, G. Bartal, and X. Zhang, “Spherical hyperlens for two-dimensional sub-diffractional imaging at visible frequencies,” Nat. Commun. 1(9), 143 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9.

D. Schurig, J. J. Mock, B. J. Justice, S. A. Cummer, J. B. Pendry, A. F. Starr, and D. R. Smith, “Metamaterial electromagnetic cloak at microwave frequencies,” Science 314(5801), 977–980 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

10.

W. Cai, U. K. Chettiar, A. V. Kildishev, and V. M. Shalaev, “Optical cloaking with metamaterials,” Nat. Photonics 1(4), 224–227 (2007). [CrossRef]

11.

G. A. Wurtz, W. Dickson, D. O’Connor, R. Atkinson, W. Hendren, P. Evans, R. Pollard, and A. V. Zayats, “Guided plasmonic modes in nanorod assemblies: strong electromagnetic coupling regime,” Opt. Express 16(10), 7460–7470 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

J. Yao, Z. Liu, Y. Liu, Y. Wang, C. Sun, G. Bartal, A. M. Stacy, and X. Zhang, “Optical negative refraction in bulk metamaterials of nanowires,” Science 321(5891), 930 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

M. S. Rill, C. Plet, M. Thiel, I. Staude, G. von Freymann, S. Linden, and M. Wegener, “Photonic metamaterials by direct laser writing and silver chemical vapour deposition,” Nat. Mater. 7(7), 543–546 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14.

M. A. Noginov, Yu. A. Barnakov, G. Zhu, T. Tumkur, H. Li, and E. Narimanov, “Bulk photonic metamaterial with hyperbolic dispersion,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94(15), 151105 (2009). [CrossRef]

15.

L. P. Bicelli, B. Bozzini, C. Mele, and L. D’Urzo, “A review of nanostructural aspects of metal deposition,” Int. J. Electrochem. Sci. 3, 356–408 (2008).

OCIS Codes
(160.1190) Materials : Anisotropic optical materials
(160.3918) Materials : Metamaterials
(160.4236) Materials : Nanomaterials

ToC Category:
Metamaterials

History
Original Manuscript: August 18, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 31, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: August 31, 2011
Published: September 2, 2011

Virtual Issues
Nanoplasmonics and Metamaterials (2011) Optical Materials Express

Citation
Yu. A. Barnakov, N. Kiriy, P. Black, H. Li, A. V. Yakim, L. Gu, M. Mayy, E. E. Narimanov, and M. A. Noginov, "Toward curvilinear metamaterials based on silver-filled alumina templates [Invited]," Opt. Mater. Express 1, 1061-1064 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ome/abstract.cfm?URI=ome-1-6-1061


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References

  1. J. B. Pendry, “Negative refraction makes a perfect lens,” Phys. Rev. Lett.85(18), 3966–3969 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. R. A. Shelby, D. R. Smith, and S. Schultz, “Experimental verification of a negative index of refraction,” Science292(5514), 77–79 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. V. M. Shalaev, “Optical negative-index metamaterials,” Nat. Photonics1(1), 41–48 (2007). [CrossRef]
  4. Z. Jacob, L. V. Alekseyev, and E. E. Narimanov, “Optical hyperlens: far-field imaging beyond the diffraction limit,” Opt. Express14(18), 8247–8256 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. A. Salandrino and N. Engheta, “Far-field subdiffraction optical microscopy using metamaterials crystals: theory and simulations,” Phys. Rev. B74(7), 075103 (2006). [CrossRef]
  6. Z. Liu, H. Lee, Y. Xiong, C. Sun, and X. Zhang, “Far-field optical hyperlens magnifying sub-diffraction-limited objects,” Science315(5819), 1686 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. I. I. Smolyaninov, Y.-J. Hung, and C. C. Davis, “Magnifying superlens in the visible frequency range,” Science315(5819), 1699–1701 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. J. Rho, Z. Ye, Y. Xiong, X. Yin, Z. Liu, H. Choi, G. Bartal, and X. Zhang, “Spherical hyperlens for two-dimensional sub-diffractional imaging at visible frequencies,” Nat. Commun.1(9), 143 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. D. Schurig, J. J. Mock, B. J. Justice, S. A. Cummer, J. B. Pendry, A. F. Starr, and D. R. Smith, “Metamaterial electromagnetic cloak at microwave frequencies,” Science314(5801), 977–980 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. W. Cai, U. K. Chettiar, A. V. Kildishev, and V. M. Shalaev, “Optical cloaking with metamaterials,” Nat. Photonics1(4), 224–227 (2007). [CrossRef]
  11. G. A. Wurtz, W. Dickson, D. O’Connor, R. Atkinson, W. Hendren, P. Evans, R. Pollard, and A. V. Zayats, “Guided plasmonic modes in nanorod assemblies: strong electromagnetic coupling regime,” Opt. Express16(10), 7460–7470 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. J. Yao, Z. Liu, Y. Liu, Y. Wang, C. Sun, G. Bartal, A. M. Stacy, and X. Zhang, “Optical negative refraction in bulk metamaterials of nanowires,” Science321(5891), 930 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. M. S. Rill, C. Plet, M. Thiel, I. Staude, G. von Freymann, S. Linden, and M. Wegener, “Photonic metamaterials by direct laser writing and silver chemical vapour deposition,” Nat. Mater.7(7), 543–546 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. M. A. Noginov, Yu. A. Barnakov, G. Zhu, T. Tumkur, H. Li, and E. Narimanov, “Bulk photonic metamaterial with hyperbolic dispersion,” Appl. Phys. Lett.94(15), 151105 (2009). [CrossRef]
  15. L. P. Bicelli, B. Bozzini, C. Mele, and L. D’Urzo, “A review of nanostructural aspects of metal deposition,” Int. J. Electrochem. Sci.3, 356–408 (2008).

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