Abstract

We introduce a new type of metamaterial, which we call liquid metacrystals (LMCs), consisting of elongated particles (meta-atoms) suspended in viscous liquid. A constant homogeneous external electric field applied to such a material induces polarization of the meta-atoms and orients them along one axis, resulting in anisotropic electromagnetic properties of the system. The axis of anisotropy can be reoriented, and this type of tunability resembles that of liquid crystals in the nematic phase. Moreover, meta-atoms also reorient in response to the high-frequency electromagnetic waves, suggesting strong nonlinear properties of the LMCs. The artificial meta-atoms can be designed as classical oscillators to enhance their tunability. As a particular example of an electromagnetic wave control by LMCs, we study linear and nonlinear transmission of radiation through a slab of this metamaterial.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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