The interaction of light with nanostructured materials give rise to interesting optical effects. Exploration of these effects is fascinating both from an intellectual and from an application perspective. In this talk, I will give an overview of the activities of the theoretical nanooptics group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in this field and present some of our latest research.
First, this concerns the development of novel theoretical and computational means. We do this, e.g. to describe the properties of metals with critical dimensions below one nanometer using quantum corrected methods or to quantify the scattering response of isolated optical nanoantennas and the reflection and transmission from arrays thereof. Second, this concerns the exploration of new optical effects, e.g. omnidirectional optical activity, tunable metamaterials, and novel perfect absorbers and directional antennas.Third, this concerns the study of novel applications, e.g. by integrating structures designed by means of transformation optics into solar cells.