Newswise — Scientists have leapt forward in metasurface technology, developing a new design that simultaneously projects holographic images and creates special diffraction patterns with ten-fold rotation symmetry of quasicrystal. This ultra-thin material merges the unique properties of quasicrystals with light manipulation techniques.

Metasurfaces, already known for their ability to bend light in unusual ways, hold promise for a new generation of ultra-thin devices in areas like holographic displays, light switching, and even advanced security features.

Traditionally, metasurfaces rely on tiny structures called meta-atoms arranged in a regular grid. This new design breaks the mold by positioning these meta-atoms in a more complex, quasicrystal pattern. Quasicrystals, while ordered, lack repetitive structures. This innovative arrangement allows the metasurface to achieve two functionalities at once.

By manipulating the phase of light, the metasurface can be programmed to reconstruct an image at a specific distance, essentially generating holographic displays. Additionally, the arrangement of metaatoms in a quasicrystal pattern creates unique diffraction patterns of light visible in the far field.

This new design offers significant advantages over conventional metasurfaces. First, its multifunctional nature allows a single metasurface to perform two tasks simultaneously, simplifying device design. Second, the quasicrystal arrangement grants more precise control over light manipulation. Quasicrystal metasurfaces have unique advantages over periodic arrangements. It can be designed by combining the global symmetry of metasurface with the local response of meta-atoms. As a result, additional functionality can be achieved.

These advancements pave the way for a new generation of ultra-thin devices with exciting possibilities. High-resolution, thin holographic displays could be created for various applications. Ultra-fast and efficient light-switching devices are also within reach. Judiciously designed diffraction patterns with high-resolution holographic images could be created for 3D imaging and optical security. For example, this technology can promise advanced security features, such as diffractive elements used in anti-counterfeiting and secure communication. Furthermore, such phenomenon may provides a new perspective for revealing multi-substances of quasicrystals that possess special arrangement together with local optical response surpassing amplitude, through simultaneously detecting the wavefront and the diffraction patterns.





Original Source URL

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2021YFB2802200), the Beijing Outstanding Young Scientist Program (BJJWZYJH01201910007022), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U21A20140, No. 92050117) program, Fok Ying-Tong Education Foundation of China (No.161009), Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission, Administrative Commission of Zhongguancun Science Park (No. Z211100004821009), Science and Technology Innovation Program of Beijing Institute of Technology (2021CX01008), and the Synergetic Extreme Condition User Facility (SECUF).

About eLight

eLight will primarily publish the finest manuscripts, broadly covering all optics, photonics, and electromagnetics subfields. We focus on emerging topics and cross-disciplinary research related to optics.

Journal Link: eLight