Yaroslav Urzhumov

Metamaterials: In Pursuit Of Globally Optimal Designs

Speaker: Yaroslav Urzhumov, Duke University/Intellectual Ventures

Abstract: Metamaterials as effective media with engineered medium properties have opened the door to making materials with properties or property combinations well outside of the ranges found in naturally-formed structures. Yet their microscopic ingredients are the 90 naturally occurring chemical elements. The apparently “supernatural” effective medium properties of metamaterials derive from the wisely-crafted spatial distributions of those all-familiar ingredients. The more one wants to deviate from the properties occurring naturally, the cleverer one must be as the architect of those patterns. The architectural effort has two components: Design and Construction. While technology is making steady progress towards the ultimate – atomic – resolution in custom-built structures, we begin to wonder if we are in a position to solve the Design problem fully. One gram of regular matter contains some 1023 fundamental building blocks; consequently up to 102*10^23 structures that size are theoretically possible. While quantum computers might be able to solve design optimization problems of this scale in the future, today we are looking into the ultimate possibilities with classical computation. Metamaterials as a multiscale design methodology allow us to dramatically reduce the complexity of the problem, yielding rapid solutions to extremely challenging problems with a computational power of a single CPU. I will talk about the various metamaterials solutions for acoustics, fluid dynamics, and RF electromagnetics.

Bio sketch: Dr. Urzhumov has been in the fields of Metamaterials and Plasmonics since 2003. He is Adjunct Assistant Professor of ECE at Duke University, and also a Technologist at the Metamaterials Commercialization Center of Intellectual Ventures. Previously a research faculty at Duke, he works on applied and theoretical aspects of metamaterials, nanomaterials and microstructured media. His main focus at Duke is on engineering technologically-relevant electromagnetic and acoustic properties of such media across the spectrum, and designing device prototypes based on metamaterials. His demonstration of all-dielectric cloaking and metamaterial promise for wireless power and hydrodynamic wake suppression are recognized worldwide as novel industry-relevant metamaterial ideas. Dr. Urzhumov has interest in materials science aspects of metals, semiconductors and other plasmonic media, dielectrics and their micro/nanostructured forms, in particular their electromagnetic, electronic and phononic properties. Dr. Urzhumov’s industry expertise is in cross-disciplinary, multi-physics analysis of complex structures and systems, which require unprecedented computational efficiency.