The ubiquitous presence of electromagnetic and acoustic waves means that their study dates back to the antiquities. Their diverse applications form the very pillars of our modern existence. About two decades ago, the incipient stage of a revolution began in this classic field, propelled by both theory and experiments, which demonstrate the feasibility of realizing man-made materials with wave manipulation functionalities beyond the defined limits of those found in nature. These “wave functional materials” include photonic/phononic crystals, metamaterials and plasmonic structures. These novel materials can manipulate waves to create science-fiction type effects such as invisibility and stealth and can control elastic waves so as to make mass appear negative in certain frequency regimes and can be used to make "superlens" that are free of aberration, just to name a few unconventional phenomena not achievable before.
Researchers in our department have introduced new concepts such as photonic quasi-crystals, negative dynamic mass, acoustic metamaterials, remote cloaking, illusion optics and optical pulling force. We have an active collaborative research program, supported by an Area of Excellence grant, which is aimed at generating fundamental knowledge and innovation in the field of wave functional materials. We aim to solve basic problems, translate the discoveries into useful applications, and educate postgraduate students in this field.
More specifically, we
Design, fabricate and characterize new materials that can manipulate light and sound in ways not known before.
Develop new and improve existing theoretical, numerical and fabrication techniques for the realization of these new materials.
Use these wave functional materials to achieve interesting and unusual effects that are not possible with natural materials.
Explore and realize potential applications of these new materials.