Light-Matter interaction in complex metamaterials

  • Marcella Bonifazi

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The possibility to manipulate electromagnetic radiation, as well as mechanical and acoustic waves has been an engaging topic since the beginning of the 20th century. Nowadays, thanks to the progress in technologies and the evolution of fabrication processes, realizing artificial materials that are able to interact with the environment in a desired fashion has become reality. The interest in micro/nanostructured metamaterials involves different field of research, ranging from optics to biology, through optoelectronics and photonics. Unfortunately, realizing experimentally these materials became highly challenging, since the size of the nanostructures are shrinking and the precision of the design became crucial for their effective operation. Disorder is, in fact, an intrinsic characteristic of fabrication processes and harnessing it by turning its unexpected effects in decisive advantages represents one of the ultimate frontiers in research. In this work we combine ab-initio FDTD simulations, fabrication process optimization and experimental results to show that, introducing disorder in metamaterials could constitute a key opportunity to enable many interesting capabilities otherwise locked. This could open up the way to novel applications in several fields, from smart network materials for solar cells and photo-electrochemical devices to all dielectric, highly-tunable structural colors.
Date of AwardMay 2019
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorAndrea Fratalocchi (Supervisor)


  • Metamaterials
  • Nanofabrication
  • Plasmonics
  • Photonics
  • Energy Harvesting
  • Photocatalysis

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