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Metasurfaces: Beyond Diffractive and Refractive Optics


Arbabi, Ehsan (2019) Metasurfaces: Beyond Diffractive and Refractive Optics. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/EQEY-KZ52.


Optical metasurfaces are a category of thin diffractive optical elements, fabricated using the standard micro- and nano-fabrication techniques. They provide new ways of controlling the flow of light based on various properties such as polarization, wavelength, and propagation direction. In addition, their compatibility with standard micro-fabrication techniques and compact form factor allows for the development of several novel platforms for the design and implementation of various complicated optical elements and systems. In this thesis, I first give a short overview and a brief history of the works on optical metasurfaces. Then I discuss the capabilities of metasurfaces in controlling the polarization and phase of light, and showcase their potential applications through the cases of polarimetric imaging and vectorial holography. Then, a discussion of the chromatic dispersion in optical metasurfaces is given, followed by three methods that can be utilized to design metasurfaces working at multiple discrete wavelengths. As a potential application of such metasurfaces, I present results of using them as objective lenses in two-photon microscopy. In addition, I discuss how metasurfaces enable the at-will control of chromatic dispersion in diffractive optical elements, demonstrate metasurfaces with controlled dispersion, and provide a discussion of their limitations. Integration of multiple metasurfaces into metasystems allows for implementation of complicated optical functions such as imaging and spectrometry. In this regard, I present several examples of how such metasystems can be designed, fabricated, and utilized to provide wide field of view imaging and projection, microelectromechanically tunable lenses, optical spectrometers, and retroreflectors. I conclude with an outlook on where metasurfaces can be most useful, and what limitations should be overcome before they can find wide-spread application.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Optics, Optical metasurfaces, Diffractive optics, Nanophotonics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Faraon, Andrei
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Thesis Committee:
  • Hajimiri, Ali (chair)
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
  • Yariv, Amnon
  • Tai, Yu-Chong
  • Faraon, Andrei
Defense Date:11 April 2019
Non-Caltech Author Email:arbabi.e (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04222019-151834122
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
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Arbabi, Ehsan0000-0002-5328-3863
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11481
Deposited By: Ehsan Arbabi
Deposited On:03 May 2019 00:29
Last Modified:18 Jun 2020 16:31

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