Terahertz Metamaterials

Metamaterials are composite electromagnetic materials that enable the development of new imaging modalities in the long-wavelength regime. Imaging at long wavelengths, for example at terahertz and millimetre-wave frequencies, is a highly sought-after goal of researchers because of the great potential for applications ranging from security screening and skin cancer detection to all-weather navigation and biodetection. Dr. Willie Padilla’s single-pixel terahertz imaging system is based on dynamic metamaterial absorbers (MMAs), which have demonstrated near-unity absorption across much of the electromagnetic spectrum. A modulation technique permits imaging with negative mask values, which is typically difficult to achieve with intensity-based components. The Padilla lab demonstrates techniques allowing the acquisition of high-frame-rate, high-fidelity images. Details about Dr. Padilla’s work with Terahertz can be found in the article “Terahertz compressive imaging with metamaterial spatial light modulators” published in Nature Photonics 8, 605–609 (2014).