Planar metamaterials represent a powerful paradigm of optical engineering, which enables one to control the flow of light across structured material interfaces in the absence of high-order diffraction modes. We report on a discovery that planar metamaterials of a certain type, formed by nanopatterned metal films, respond differently to spatially coherent and incoherent light, enabling robust speckle-free discrimination between different degrees of light coherence. The effect has no direct analogue in natural optical materials and may find applications in nanoscale metadevices enhancing imaging, vision, detection, communication, and metrology.
- optical nonlocality
- spatial coherence