Colloquium on July 14th, 2008

Falk Lederer
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Shaping light in structured materials

The optical properties of a material usually depend only on wavelength, polarization, propagation direction and intensity if nonlinear media are concerned. Confining geometries may considerably affect light propagation. Thus, it might be anticipated that characteristic light features like refraction, diffraction, dispersion, and localization can be controlled and shaped over a wide range in optical micro- and nanostructures. In such structured, artificial photonic materials (metamaterials) the optical response is primarily derived from the geometry and symmetry of the arrangement. These metamaterials, which include waveguide arrays, photonic crystals and so-called doubly negative materials can be designed such that the optical properties can be shaped with an unprecedented degree of freedom. In the talk various examples of tailoring the light properties in such linear and nonlinear media are presented.