Microelectromechanical Maltese-cross metamaterial with tunable terahertz anisotropy

W.M. Zhu, A.Q. Liu, T. Bourouina, Din-ping Tsai, J.H. Teng, X.H. Zhang, G.Q. Lo, D.L. Kwong, N.I. Zheludev

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)


Dichroic polarizers and waveplates exploiting anisotropic materials have vast applications in displays and numerous optical components, such as filters, beamsplitters and isolators. Artificial anisotropic media were recently suggested for the realization of negative refraction, cloaking, hyperlenses, and controlling luminescence. However, extending these applications into the terahertz domain is hampered by a lack of natural anisotropic media, while artificial metamaterials offer a strong engineered anisotropic response. Here we demonstrate a terahertz metamaterial with anisotropy tunable from positive to negative values. It is based on the Maltese-cross pattern, where anisotropy is induced by breaking the four-fold symmetry of the cross by displacing one of its beams. The symmetry breaking permits the excitation of a Fano mode active for one of the polarization eigenstates controlled by actuators using microelectromechanical systems. The metamaterial offers new opportunities for the development of terahertz variable waveplates, tunable filters and polarimetry. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1274
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Microelectromechanical Maltese-cross metamaterial with tunable terahertz anisotropy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this