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March 8th, 2010
Metamaterials by self-organization?
Scientists working in a collaboration between institutions in Warsaw, Poland and St. Petersburg, Russia believe that bottom-up approaches will emerge in the metamaterial field in the near-future, with ensembles of nanoparticles, inclusions, macromolecules with different shapes, and different intrinsic properties leading to novel ideas and applications. The approach they are using is to utilize the self-organization mechanism that appears during growth of eutectics. Eutectics are mainly known from metal alloys and are present almost everywhere, but their dielectric form (e.g. oxide-oxide) or hybrid (e.g. metal-oxide) is not well investigated. Recently the scientists noticed the potential of eutectics for application in photonics, and they are working hard to prove it. According to them, eutectics are very versatile: They are monolithic and structured on micro- or nanoscale regime in the same time, many different component materials can be used to form a eutectic, many different geometrical motifs can be achieved and often the obtained structure can be controlled from the micro to the nanoregime.
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