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Metamaterial device development for quasi optical devices

The Cardiff quasi-optical (QO) filter production team has been the recognised world-wide leader in the design, manufacture and provision of quasi-optical devices (filters, polarisers, waveplates, etc) in the far infrared (FIR) to submillimetre wavelength range for many years.

This technology has proven essential to the successful operation and optimised performance of many instruments operating from < 30 GHz to > 10 THz in the laboratory, in the higher Earth’s atmosphere and in space. Devices fabricated at Cardiff are used in almost every FIR astronomical instrument worldwide and are finding wider application across many disciples as THz sensing is developing.

The next generation of FIR/THz instruments requires significant advancements in the coupling, optical efficiency, bandwidth and mass of optical components. These challenges (and more) can be met by developing metamaterial devices, manmade materials with a periodic structure which dictates its electromagnetic performance. At THz frequencies these are in fact an extension of existing Cardiff metal mesh technology and Cardiff QO filter production team is one of the best-equipped metamaterial facilities world-wide.

Activities

Our research work includes:

  • design and modelling of innovative structures for filtering, anti-reflection coatings, flat lenses and wave plate components at extended THz frequencies and operational temperature from 0.08 to 300 K;
  • theoretical modelling of normal and negative refractive index metamaterials;
  • development of metamaterial fabrication techniques and component manufacture;
  • development of superconducting transmission line filters, phase shifters and OMTs for integrated detector technology;
  • THz spectro-polarimetry;
  • developing lithographic techniques to extend the wavelength range of our devices;
  • development of techniques to allow fabrication of supremely large devices (430mm OD) required by state-of-the art instruments.

We have extremely well supported laboratories, workshop and cleanroom facilities with dedicated design engineers and skilled technicians. We have a comprehensive suite of bespoke Fourier Transform Spectrometers (with complete coverage from sub THz to NIR).