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A form of optical circuitry is overviewed in which a tapestry of subwavelength nanometer-scale metamaterial structures and nanoparticles may provide a mechanism for tailoring, patterning, and manipulating local optical electric fields and electric displacement vectors in a subwavelength domain, leading to the possibility of optical information processing at the nanometer scale. By exploiting the optical properties of metamaterials, these nanoparticles may play the role of "lumped" nanocircuit elements such as nanoinductors, nanocapacitors, and nanoresistors, analogous to microelectronics. I show that this concept of metamaterial-inspired nanoelectronics ("metactronics") can bring the tools and mathematical machinery of the circuit theory into optics, may link the fields of optics, electronics, plasmonics, and metamaterials, and may provide road maps to future innovations in nanoscale optical devices, components, and more intricate nanoscale metamaterials.
Date Posted: 04 September 2008
This document has been peer reviewed.