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Strongly birefringent metamaterials as negative index terahertz wave plates

: Weis, P.; Paul, O.; Imhof, C.; Beigang, R.; Rahm, M.


Applied Physics Letters 95 (2009), Nr.17, Art. 171104, 3 S.
ISSN: 0003-6951
ISSN: 1077-3118
Fraunhofer IPM ()
birefringence; metamaterial; microwave material; optical fabrication; optical retarder; refractive index; terahertz wave

We report an alternative approach for the design and fabrication of thin wave plates with high transmission in the terahertz regime. The wave plates are based on strongly birefringent cut-wire-pair metamaterials that exhibit refractive indices of opposite signs for orthogonal polarization components of an incident wave. As examples, we fabricated and investigated a quarter- and a half-wave plate with high intensity transmittance. The wave plates displayed a maximum figure of merit (FOM) of 23 at a frequency around 1.3 THz where the refractive index was n'=−1.7. This corresponds to one of the highest FOMs reported at terahertz frequencies.