With their potential for spectacular applications, like superlensing and cloaking, metamaterials are a powerful class of nanostructured materials. All these applications rely on the metamaterials acting as a homogeneous material. We investigate a negative index metamaterial with a phase-sensitive near-field microscope and measure the optical phase as a function of distance. Close to the metamaterial we observe extremely large spatial phase variations within a single unit cell which vanish on a 200 nm length scale from the sample. These deviations of a state-of-the-art metamaterial from a homogeneous medium can be important for nanoscale applications.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl100943e
Journal Nano Lett.
Citation
Burresi, M, Diessel, D, van Oosten, D, Linden, S, Wegener, M, & Kuipers, L. (2010). Negative-index metamaterials : looking into the unit cell. Nano Lett., 10(7), 2480–2483. doi:10.1021/nl100943e