Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Electrical & Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Nader Engheta

Abstract

Metamaterials and transformation optics have received considerable attention in the recent years, as they have found an immense role in many areas of optical science and engineering by offering schemes to control electromagnetic fields. Another area of science that has

been under the spotlight for the last few years relates to exploration of graphene, which is formed of carbon atoms densely packed into a honey-comb lattice. This material exhibits unconventional electronic and optical properties, intriguing many research groups across

the world including us. But our interest is mostly in studying interaction of electromagnetic waves with graphene and applications that might follow.

Our group as well as few others pioneered investigating prospect of graphene for plasmonic devices and in particular plasmonic metamaterial structures and transformation optical devices. In this thesis, relying on theoretical models and numerical simulations, we

show that by designing and manipulating spatially inhomogeneous, nonuniform conductivity patterns across a flake of graphene, one can have this material as a one-atom-thick platform for infrared metamaterials and transformation optical devices. Varying the graphene chemical potential by using static electric field allows for tuning the graphene conductivity in the terahertz and infrared frequencies. Such design flexibility can be exploited to create "patches" with differing conductivities within a single flake of graphene. Numerous photonic functions and metamaterial concepts are expected to follow from such platform. This work presents several numerical examples demonstrating these functions.

Our findings show that it is possible to design one-atom-thick variant of several optical elements analogous to those in classic optics. Here we theoretically study one-atom-thick metamaterials, one-atom-thick waveguide elements, cavities, mirrors, lenses, Fourier optics and finally a few case studies illustrating transformation optics on a single sheet of graphene in mid-infrared wavelengths.

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