Manipulating light with metamaterial: Basic physics to applications
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This dissertation is focused on manipulating propagation of light by using metamaterials. The control of light is no longer limited to optical materials found in nature. We can control light by tailoring the elements of the structure. In this work, we design and demonstrate a novel device, `tunable lens', which is based on the principle of transformation optics. Such a device controls propagation of light in such a manner that it exhibits a highly localized focal point which can be tuned based on the intensity of the beam. We study underlying physics and behavior of such a device. The advantage of such a device over conventional lenses is that its focus point has highly localized beam with extremely high intensity which is tunable in nature. The focus can be varied by varying changing external field and can be shifted few microns along the optical axis and can find applications in nonlinear optics, field-enhanced sensing, ultra-compact optical components for all-optical circuits. Another class of metamaterials, called transition metamaterial, have been greatly explored. We developed a practical design tool and defined a set of parameters that can be used for experimental demonstration of the effect of anomalous filed enhancement in the transition metamaterials by using hyperbolic permittivity profiles. These hyperbolic transition metamaterials provide the flexibility of design without needing magnetic component of the material to be manipulated. These effects are likely to find applications in nonlinear optics and sensing devices. Further, we study the propagation of optical vortices in a negative index material.