Metasurface Structure

For Scientific Research & Industry Modernisation.

Fig: Metasurface structure (Source from: Liang, Y., Koshelev, K., Zhang, F., Lin, H., Lin, S., Wu, J., Jia, B. and Kivshar, Y. Bound  States in the Continuum in Anisotropic Plasmonic Metasurfaces. NanoLetters, 20(9), pp.6351-356)

Optical integrated devices are an important part of current information communication and computing. With the development of science and technology, people require higher and higher speed of information processing and computing, which requires optical devices to develop in the direction of miniaturization. The traditional optical devices based on natural materials and artificial three-dimensional metamaterials have problems such as large scale and low efficiency, therefore, to realize efficient electromagnetic optical devices in subwavelength scale is an important research topic.

A metasurface is a 2D planar structure composed of artificial atoms with special electromagnetic properties in a certain arrangement, which can achieve flexible modulation of the amplitude, phase, and polarization of the incident light and has a powerful ability to manipulate the optical field, and therefore has received widespread attention and gradually become a popular research direction. Compared with metamaterials, metasurfaces not only break through the traditional electromagnetic properties of materials, but also overcome the difficulty of fabricating the 3D structure of metamaterials, which can facilitate the integration and miniaturization of nano-optical devices. Metasurfaces have a wide range of applications in polarization conversion, holographic imaging, ultra-thin lenses, beam deflection, etc.

Industry Challenge

Metasurfaces have a wide range of promising applications in polarization conversion, holographic imaging, ultrathin lenses, and beam deflection. The common metasurface structures include: multi-resonance structures, gap-plasmon structures, and structures that depend on the Pancharatnam-Berry phase. For transmissive metasurface structures, they generalize several structures that can increase the transmittance, such as Huygens metasurfaces, all-dielectric and high-contrast dielectric metasurfaces. Current fabricating techniques for metasurfaces include photolithography, electron beam exposure and focused ion beam etching methods, as well as self-assembly and nanoimprint lithography. Metasurfaces have a wide range of applications in the realization of optical devices, including polarization control and wavefront modulation, such as quarter-wave plates, one-half-wave plates, artificial ultra-thin lenses, holographic imaging, and vortex beam generation. The more commonly used photolithography, electron beam exposure and etching techniques are suitable for making 2D metasurface structures, while they are not suitable for large area production requirements.

Solution Overview

Fig. 3D metasurface structures made by laser fabricating (Source from: Liang, Y., Lin, H., Koshelev, K., Zhang, F., Yang, Y., Wu, J., Kivshar, Y. and Jia, B. (2021). Full-Stokes Polarization Perfect Absorption with Diatomic Metasurfaces. Nano Letters, 21(2), pp.1090–1095.)

To address the problems of the above process, based on our understanding of processing super-surface structures, we recommend the use of laser 3D nano-printing technology to produce super-surface structures, which can realize metasurface structure with 3D morphology of arbitrary design. As shown in the figure:

Customer Value

Any arbitrary designs of 3D metasurface structures can be fabricated. It also enables functions that are not available on traditional 2D super surfaces.

Applications

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Application Scenario

Can be used for polarization control, wavefront modulation, quarter-wave slice, half-wave slice, artificial ultra-thin lens, holographic imaging, vortex beam generation, etc.

Optical imaging and display

Micro-optical components are key components in the manufacture of small optoelectronic systems, which have the advantages of small size, light weight, low cost, and can achieve novel functions such as tiny, array, integration, imaging and wavefront conversion that are difficult to achieve with ordinary optical components. At present, miniaturization and integration of optical systems have become a major trend in various applications. Micro-optics are playing an increasing role in optical imaging and display systems, optoelectronic systems, laser devices, thermal imaging devices, night vision devices, infrared scanning devices, display systems, camera systems, zoom lenses, medical diagnostic fundoscopes, endoscopes, progressive lenses, cell phones, PDAs, CDs and DVDs, etc.

 

Driven by the application demand, the research on micro-optical component fabrication technology is also in progress. In addition to the traditional ultra-precision mechanical fabrication technology, a variety of modern fabrication technologies have also emerged, such as electron beam writing technology, photolithography, etching technology, replication technology and coating technology. These technologies are developed from microelectronic component microfabrication technology, but unlike the original electronic components, three-dimensional molding accuracy and assembly accuracy is critical for optical components, will directly affect their performance, so each of these methods has its own defects and limitations of use. Generally speaking, machining accuracy and machining speed and output are conflicting goals that are difficult to balance.

 

The fabrication of NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-fabrication system, based on the non-linear action of laser and matter, can realize three-dimensional high-precision micro-nano structures in a variety of materials, providing a new idea for micro-optical component fabrication. It also utilizes the technology of multi-focus parallel processing, which can increase the fabrication efficiency and productivity hundreds of times, pushing the laser direct writing technology from the laboratory to the production manufacturing environment.

 

The laser 3D nano-fabrication technology represented by NanoPrint system has realized the fabrication of aspheric lenses, microlens arrays, pyramidal microstructure surfaces, reflection-reducing gratings, free-form optical elements and other structures with advantages that traditional fabrication equipment does not have, such as flexible structure design, high precision and high speed. It is mainly characterized by the ability to fabricate true three-dimensional structures with nanometer-level precision.

Surface fabrication & Microstructure

Laser surface treatment of materials is an important technology because it can enhance various device properties such as surface strength, hardness, roughness, coefficient of friction, chemical resistance, and corrosion resistance of various materials. Such improvements to material surfaces are not only ideal when wear rates and shear stresses are high but can also maintain or extend the functional life of components by covering microcracks in the surface (e.g., in industrial ceramics) and repairing defects and breakage.

 

Compared to traditional laser fabrication based on thermal mechanisms, the NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-fabrication System’s femtosecond technology is a cold process. The high-intensity femtosecond pulses provide a localized hyperthermal environment (local temperatures near the focal point can exceed several thousand degrees), but the overall temperature of the workpiece does not rise. Therefore, this kind of fabrication has many advantages such as high precision, good manipulation, rich response mechanism, high flexibility, high controllability, smooth processing surface, low waste, etc. It is the first choice for scientific research, industrial applications, especially plays an important role in industrial precision cutting, welding, surface treatment and industrial marking.