Inexpensive Miniaturization of Photonic Crystal/Metamaterial components

A printed microstrip that uses simple microwave circuit components to emulate the propagation normally only found in photonic crystals and metamaterials

The Need

Metamaterials, and more specifically photonic crystals, have enabled development of innovative technologies, such as radio frequency (RF) metamaterial air interface solutions, LED lights, flat panel displays, and fiber lasers. It has been speculated that metamaterials could enable further advancements, such as an invisibility cloak, ultra-sensitive MRI detectors, and acoustical noise barriers. However, the cost to manufacture and scarcity are barriers to commercialization of new photonic crystal and metamaterial products. Technologies that demonstrate the properties of photonic crystals at a fraction of the cost would be invaluable to acheive the theorized benefits.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Kubilay Sertel, have developed a novel micro-strip design that uses simple microwave circuit components printed on uniform substrates to emulate the extraordinary propagation phenomena traditionally observed in photonic crystals and metamaterials.

Commercial Applications

  • Optoelectronic devices
  • Radio frequency (RF) air interface solutions
  • LED lights
  • Flat panel displays


  • Easy and inexpensive miniaturization of microwave and optical circuit components
  • Realization of frozen light modes and degenerate band edge resonances
  • Achieves non-linear effects such as frequency mixing and modulation
  • Emulation of extraordinary propagation modes within periodic assemblies of anisotropic dielectric and magnetic materials
  • More cost-effective and easier to manufacture than photonic crystals and metamaterials
  • Enables boost in gain and maintains the same size dimensions, which allows fast and efficient design of metamaterials via standard circuit optimizations
  • Can be used alone or within a more complex microwave network
  • Can be manufactured using solid state coupled optical fibers/channels to emulate the gyro-electirc and gyromagnetic behavior of semiconductors

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