December 24, 2015

Infrared encoding of images with metasurfaces

Infrared encoding of images. Credit--M. Makhsiyan/ONERA

(December 24, 2015)  Researchers at MINAO, a joint lab between The French Aerospace Lab in Palaiseau and the Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures in Marcoussis, have recently demonstrated metamaterial resonators that allow emission in the infrared to be tuned through the geometry of the resonator.

Their setup uses sub-wavelength scale metal-insulator-metal, or MIM, resonators to spatially and spectrally control emitted light up to its diffraction limit. This allows an array of resonators to be used to form an image in the infrared - much as way the pixels in a television screen can form a visible light image - with potential breakthrough applications in infrared televisions, biochemical sensing, optical storage, and anti-counterfeit devices.

“MIM metasurfaces are great candidates for infrared emitters thanks to their ability to completely control thermal emission, which is groundbreaking compared to the usual thermal sources, such as a blackbody,” said Patrick Bouchon, a researcher at The French Aerospace Lab, also known as ONERA. “Moreover, this study shows the possibility to create infrared images with the equivalent of visible colors.”

Bouchon and his colleagues detail their work this week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing. The researchers previously demonstrated the ability to manipulate light through tailoring its absorption or converting its polarization, and have investigated the “funneling effect,” in which incoming light energy is coupled to a nanoantenna.

journal reference (Open Access) >>