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Physics Seminar

Electromagnetic metasurfaces – from butterflies to battleships

Speaker: Prof Roy Sambles (University of Exeter)
Date: Wednesday 23 October 2019
Time: 15:00
Venue: N/3.28

Taking little other than common cuticle, loaded with a small amount of melanin, butterflies have evolved some stunning metasurfaces. Often only microns thick, these act as selective reflectors and polarizers as well as being sometimes very strong scatterers (white) or very strong absorbers (black) of electromagnetic radiation. Similarly surface-structured metals, metasurfaces, can lead to unexpected effects: for example selective absorption, even at long wavelengths where metals are expected to behave as almost perfect mirrors, or even negative refraction.