Visible-frequency metasurfaces for broadband anomalous reflection and high-efficiency spectrum splitting

Zhongyang Li, Edgar Palacios, Serkan Butun, Koray Aydin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


Ultrathin metasurfaces have recently emerged as promising materials that have huge potential to enable novel, flat optical components, and surface-confined, miniature photonic devices. Metasurfaces offer new degrees of freedom in molding the optical wavefronts by introducing abrupt and drastic changes in the amplitude, phase, and/or polarization of electromagnetic radiation at the wavelength scale. By carefully arranging multiple subwavelength anisotropic or gradient optical resonators, metasurfaces have been shown to enable anomalous transmission, anomalous reflection, optical holograms, and spin-orbit interaction. However, experimental realization of high-performance metasurfaces that can operate at visible frequency range has been a significant challenge due to high optical losses of plasmonic materials and difficulties in fabricating several plasmonic resonators of subwavelength size with high uniformity. Here, we propose a highly efficient yet a simple metasurface design comprising of a single, anisotropic silver antenna in its unit cell. We demonstrate broadband (450-850 nm) anomalous reflection and spectrum splitting at visible and near-IR frequencies with high conversion efficiency. Average power ratio of anomalous reflection to the strongest diffraction mode was calculated to be on the order of 103 and measured to be on the order of 10. The anomalous reflected photons have been visualized using a charge-coupled device camera, and broadband spectrum splitting performance has been confirmed experimentally using a free space, angle-resolved reflection measurement setup. Metasurface design proposed in this study is a clear departure from conventional metasurfaces utilizing multiple, anisotropic and/or gradient optical resonators and could enable high-efficiency, broadband metasurfaces for achieving flat high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectrometers, polarization beam splitters, directional emitters, and spectrum splitting surfaces for photovoltaics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1621
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 11 2015


  • Metamaterials
  • anomalous reflection
  • broadband
  • gradient metasurface
  • plasmonics
  • surface plasmon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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