Achieving nearly perfect light absorption from the microwave to optical region utilizing metamaterials has begun to play a significant role in photonics and optoelectronics due to their vital applications in thermal emitters, thermal photovoltaics, photovoltaics, sensing, filtering, and photodetection. However, employing passive components in designing perfect absorbers based on metamaterials and photonic crystals imposes some limits on their spectral operation. In order to overcome those limits, extensive research has been conducted on utilizing different materials and mechanisms to obtain active metamaterial light absorbers. In this review paper, we investigate the recent progress in tunable and reconfigurable metamaterial light absorbers through reviewing different active materials and mechanisms, and we provide a perspective for their future development and applications.
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