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An Almost Perfect Lens Previous Slide   Next Slide

Pendry's Superlens

Figure 3  Planar metamaterial
lens (after Veselago and Pendry)

Victor Veselago [1]  predicted that double negative refraction could be harnessed to create a sharp image of a point source. John Pendry [3] provided a much-debated analytical treatment of the arrangement shown in Figure 3, predicting perfect focusing of the source. Indeed, unlike classical curved lenses made from regular transparent materials, planar metamaterial lenses have no optical axis and reconstitute the near-field as well as the far-field of the source with sub-wavelength resolution by virtue of resonant surface waves (plasmons) that are excited in the metamaterial. MEFiSTo dynamically visualizes this focusing action in all its complexity, confirming Veselago's and Pendry’s theoretical predictions as well as measurements made by Eleftheriades et al. [4].

Figure 4  Electric Field of a Point Source Focused by a Planar Lens
(Click on the picture to start the movie).

While the dynamic visualization of steady-state fields provides valuable information, observing the transient buildup of the steady-state conveys much deeper insight into the physics of the problem. Causality, energy flow and reactive energy storage are fully revealed by transient visualization. Also, one can easily study the behavior of wide-band signals and the effect of dispersion in the metamaterial.

Figure 5  The Same Field Simu-lation Visualized in 3D.
(Click on the picture to start the movie)

This movie displays the same focusing phenomenon in three dimensions.

MEFiSTo’s time domain simulation capability allows simulation of the metamaterial response to arbitrary transient excitation.

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