Study of Reflecting and Refracting Surfaces

Josef Nagelschmidt, Stefan Heimersheim

project report

Surface science has always been a complex area of research and remains at the cutting edge of research. In this study we focus on refraction and relection. Building on the theoretical pioneering work of Victor Veselago in 1968, metamaterials were fabricated for the first time in 2000 by the groups of John Pendry and David Smith. Metamaterials are the key to innovation in the area of refraction and reflection as they can exhibit a far greater range of properties than natural materials can provide.

The goal of our "Jugend forscht"-project is the study of the special properties of metasurfaces with respect to reflection and transmission in view of their potential importance for future technologies. Our homemade metamaterials, which consist of specially designed resonators on a printed circuit board, can quasi-continuously control the phase of transmitted/reflected waves. This allows the creation of arbitrary phase landscapes and offers opportunities for technological innovation. This is particularly important for Germany's technology-driven economy in order to compete with countries such as the US and China.

Using our homemade metasurfaces, we were able to demonstrate experimentally in the microwave part of the spectrum that the conventional laws of reflection and refraction need to be extended. We are particularly proud of our focusing lens of thickness zero, which has been designed based on the new generalized laws.

Furthermore, our research will allow schools to extend lessons to include current research on metamaterials without requiring large financial investments.

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