Metamaterials for Defense Applications
Speaker: Augustine Urbas, AFOSR
Abstract: Metamaterials provide the ability to design materials properties to meet the unique needs of applications beyond what is possible with conventional materials. From spatially tailored dielectrics to tunable, dynamic material properties and unique nonlinear behavior, these systems offer tremendous flexibility to application engineers. Applications across the electromagnetic spectrum have been proposed; from novel RF antennas to devices utilizing optical magnetism. Researchers have pursued optical, RF and acoustic materials and applications. The aim of this work is to gauge the readiness and maturity of metamaterials for the field. Within AFRL, applications spanning the electromagnetic spectrum have leveraged metamaterials. The work we have pursued utilizes the unique traits of meta systems to match broadly different wavelengths and to have dramatic changes in response as a function of wavelength to develop novel communication and sensing systems. Looking to the future, dynamic and tunable metamaterials will be pursued.
Biosketch: Augustine Urbas earned a B.A. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Polymer Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003. His thesis research was on the optical and morphological analysis of structured materials and nanostructures fabricated from ultra-high molecular weight block copolymers. As a post doctoral researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Dr. Urbas expanded this work by investigating responsive patterned optical materials, holographic fabrication and HPDLCs with periodic and non-periodic structures. Dr. Urbas then moved on to study the nonlinearities and molecular photophysical properties of high performance chromophores, and developed a comprehensive program to explore applications of metamaterial electromagnetic composites at the Air Force Research Lab, Materials Directorate. Dr. Urbas is currently the Optical Materials Research Lead for the Materials Directorate of AFRL. Research in this area encompases; structured materials, self assembled optical composites, nanophotonics, adaptable/responsive materials, nonlinear materials properties and enhancements, EM properties of composite and structured media and the design and characterization of structured electromagnetic materials. His expertise includes laser spectroscopy, nano-optics, photonic materials, self-assembly, holography and morphological characterization.