This unique combination of material, methods, and results could lead to a paradigm shift in the design of metamaterial devices that manipulate light.
A metamaterial is an artificial material with repeating elements that enable it to reflect, transmit, or scatter waves (typically light) in ways that natural materials cannot. For example, a hypothetical “cloaking device” might be based on a metamaterial that can adaptively bend a wide spectrum of light waves around an object, making it invisible to an observer.
More pragmatically, metamaterials can be used to make lots of things—antennas, computers, batteries, solar cells—smaller and/or more efficient. The more we know about how electrons move in a material, the easier it is to engineer it into a metamaterial, where interactions between light (electromagnetic waves) and plasmons (collective electron waves) can be manipulated to produce a desired result.
Image: In one part of the study, SINS data was obtained at three locations on the SmS surface: (1) the region of maximum local strain, (2) a transition region adjacent to the maximum strain, and (3) an unstrained region.