A DoD perspective on left handed negative index materials and potential applications

Valerie M. Browning, Minas H. Tanielian, Richard W. Ziolkowski, Nader Engheta, David R. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the quest for ever smaller, lighter weight, and conformal components and devices for radar and communication applications, researchers in the RF community have increasingly turned to artificially engineered, composite structures (or "metamaterials") in order to exploit the extraordinary electromagnetic response these materials offer. One particularly promising class of metamaterials that has recently received a great deal of attention are "left-handed" or negative index materials. Because these metamaterials exhibit the unique ability to bend and focus light in ways no other conventional materials can, they hold great potential for enabling a number of innovative lens and antenna structures for a broad range of commercial and DoD relevant applications. Exploring the possible implementation of negative index materials for such applications will require significant enhancements in the properties of existing Negative Index Materials (NIM) (bandwidth, loss, operational frequency, etc.), as well as improved understanding of the physics of their electromagnetic transport properties. For this reason the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has initiated a program that seeks to further develop and demonstrate NIM for future DoD missions including, but not limited to, the following: 1) lightweight, compact lenses with improved optics; 2) sub wavelength/high resolution imaging across the electromagnetic spectrum; 3) novel approaches to beam steering for radar, RF, and/or optical communications; and 4) novel approaches for integrating optics with semiconductor electronics. A brief overview of the salient properties of NIM will be presented as well as a general discussion of a few of their potential applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNegative Index Materials
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Microwave to Optical
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)1558998764, 9781558998766
StatePublished - 2006
Event2006 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 17 2006Apr 21 2006

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2006 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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