Departmental Papers (ESE)


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.

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

September 2007


This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in SCIENCE, Volume 317. No. 5845, pp. 1698-1702, September 2007.
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Date Posted: 04 September 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.