Reconfigurable metasurfaces combining molecular and chalcogenide tunable materials (SURFING). In SURFING we open a new paradigm in the design of advanced metasurfaces by combining multiple tunable materials, molecular and chalcogenide phase change materials, in the same structure.
The final goal is to obtain multilayer sequentially assembled reconfigurable metasurfaces at RT to manipulate light with new degrees of freedom for the development optical devices in infrared spectrum. Control and manipulation of electromagnetic waves, from RF to optical spectrum, attracts the attention of researchers in all fields of physics and engineering.
Currently, there is an increasing interest in exploiting infrared (IR) radiation due to the numerous applications such as optical imaging, trace-gas detection, biosensing, thermal management, automotive safety with LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems, and infrared spectroscopy. During the last decades, efforts have been focused on the development of efficient IR sources and detectors and major progress have been made.
However, a limiting factor in the development of IR optics is the lack of methods for controlling the amplitude and the phase of scattered light due to the limitations in the properties of natural material. In this sense, metasurfaces can overcome these limitations and provide advanced manipulation of IR waves. From the practical point of view, IR radiation with wavelengths longer than those of visible light facilitates the fabrication techniques and allows the implementation of nanostructures with exotic behaviours that can be used to develop more compact and efficient IR devices.
In addition to the possibility of controlling scattering, metasurfaces offer the possibility to integrate active components that allow their reconfiguration and dynamic control of the wavefront. The properties of the metasurface can be dynamically controllable, in real-time, by tuning the properties of the materials or changing its topology using mechanical actuation.