Miguel Navarro-Cia, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, has recently been awarded the Computer Simulation Technology (CST) Publication Award 2016.
CST is a software company which develops and markets high performance software for the simulation of complex electromagnetic scenarios ranging from magnetic resonance imaging scanners to integrated optical circuits.
The research conducted has multiple impacts on conventional dielectric lenses such as contact lenses or spectacles. Currently, they seem completely transparent to light. However, at least 4% of the light intensity does not pass through. Reducing the power lost by reflection would also improve the energy efficiency of our wireless systems. In addition, the all-metallic fishnet metamaterial lens studied by Miguel has several advantages in comparison with lenses made partially or wholly from dielectrics, such as resistant to hazardous conditions and higher power handling capability.
On receipt of the award, Dr Navarro-Cia said, ‘To be awarded the CST University Publication Award means that my research is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and applicability. In the light of the CST evaluating committee, it also shows skilful use of the CST electromagnetic software. At this stage in my career, awards like this are vital to increase my international reputation and visibility.’
Miguel’s award-winning research deals with the design and optimization of advanced metallic lenses based on metamaterials. Metamaterials are synthetic composite materials with a structure engineered to achieve extreme or even unseen electromagnetic properties that enable the realization of lenses with 100% transparency, for a single colour.
In the publication Miguel and his team took a step forward and reduced the thickness of the lens following the same ideas as the lighthouse (Fresnel) lenses and optimized the design to double the frequency band of operation compared to their original designs. They also made the design polarization sensitive, adding an additional functionality to the lens without the need of an extra element (polarizer).
With technology moving toward compact energy efficient devices, the use of conventional lenses have proven to be a great obstacle for this vision. This is unfortunate as lenses are a ubiquitous element in modern technology. Therefore making advanced lenses that are thinner, more efficient and have intrinsically additional functionalities (such as polarization or filtering) will reduce energy consumption and the device/system size and carbon footprint.
The integration of the proposed metamaterial lenses into real-world applications is very straightforward, as simple as replacing your current contact lenses for new ones. As long as they have the same dioptres, they are effortlessly interchangeable.
The award also involves a one year educational license worth over £1,000.
For more information on CST and the Publication Awards visit the website.