Scattering properties of meta-atoms

C. Rockstuhl, C. Menzel, S. Mühlig, J. Petschulat, C. Helgert, C. Etrich, A. Chipouline, T. Pertsch, F. Lederer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Metamaterials consist of a periodic or aperiodic arrangement of so-called meta-atoms. Usually their optical properties are derived from the collective response of this ensemble. However, it is highly desirable to deduce them from the scattering properties of individual meta-atoms because frequently the periodic arrangement has a spurious effect on the desired functionality. Moreover, understanding the scattering properties of individual meta-atoms permits introducing guidelines for their design and predicting effective properties of amorphous metamaterials. To achieve this we introduce a genuine approach to quantify the properties of individual meta-atoms. To this end we evaluate spectrally resolved the composition of the rigorously calculated scattered field in terms of contributions of electromagnetic multipoles, such as electric and magnetic dipoles, quadrupoles and, in principle, arbitrary higher order moments. Beyond its direct application to metamaterial's design and characterization, the approach will be significant in the entire field of nanooptics as, for example, for optical nanoantennas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245119
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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