We propose a complete and ambitious basic-research program aimed at introducing and developing novel ideas and revolutionary concepts to model, design, analyze, fabricate and characterize magnet-free non-reciprocal metamaterials for the next generation of integrated electromagnetic and photonic systems. Our team has a unique combination of world-leading experts in theoretical, numerical and experimental aspects of electrical engineering, physics and nanophotonics, ideal to put forward an entirely new paradigm for non-reciprocal technology, pushing the limits in terms of efficiency, isolation, insertion loss, integrability, size, cost, noise, power handling and scalability. During our effort, we will investigate and successfully overcome fundamental issues and scientific challenges currently limiting non-reciprocal metamaterial devices, opening completely new pathways towards integrated magnet-free technology that outperforms magnet-based isolators, circulators, gyrators and other relevant technology over all metrics of interest for various applications of relevance to the DoD, including radar technology, communications, quantum computing and nanophotonics.

To this end, we will explore:

  1. a real-time-reconfigurable metamaterial platform supporting novel phenomena that will push the boundaries of time-modulated systems, spanning a broad range of wavelengths from radio-frequencies to the visible;
  2. novel theoretical tools, including analytical and numerical methods, as well as fundamental bounds to various metrics of interest, capturing the involved complex physics at hand, such as parametric, nonlinear, quantum, topological and multi-physics phenomena;
  3. new nanofabrication techniques and material platforms to realize cost-effective, integrated, reconfigurable non-reciprocal metamaterials, including 2D materials, superconducting circuitry and opto-mechanics;
  4. advances in the fundamental physics of light-matter interaction in time-modulated metamaterials, using ad-hoc modeling, fabrication and characterization tools;
  5. new concepts for metamaterials, such as applying parametric phenomena based on time-modulation, reconfigurability and energy exchanges between harmonics, in order to push the boundaries of metamaterials to new regimes and functionalities.

Working at the frontiers of metamaterials, integrated circuits, superconductors, 2D materials, opto-mechanics and quantum optics, our efforts will unveil groundbreaking physics beyond the proposed technology, significantly broadening the reach of our efforts. The unique synergy among leading experts in modeling, fabrication and characterization of electromagnetic and photonic systems will allow exploring to its full extent the impact of the proposed concepts for several exciting applications of interest to the DoD and more broadly to our entire society, pushing the limits in electromagnetic signal manipulation, routing, processing and storage


AFOSR MURI FA9550-18-1-0379 | Program Managers: Dr. Arje Nachman and Dr. Gernot Pomrenke