Metamaterial allows light to travel infinitely fast - Could be utilized in future photonic and quantum devices

10/21/2015 - 02:42

Leah Burrows

Electrons are so 20th century. In the 21st century, photonic devices, which use light to transport large amounts of information quickly, will enhance or even replace the electronic devices that are ubiquitous in our lives today. But there’s a step needed before optical connections can be integrated into telecommunications systems and computers: researchers need to make it easier to manipulate light at the nanoscale.

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have done just that, designing the first on-chip metamaterial with a refractive index of zero, meaning that the phase of light can travel infinitely fast.


Ref: On-chip zero-index metamaterials. Nature Photonics (October 2015) | DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2015.198