Metasurfaces are thin artificially nanostructured composite materials that have a unique capability for light manipulation. Advances in designing and creating such metasurfaces have led to realizing compact optical metadevices, including holograms, flat lenses, beam converters and deflectors. Most functional dielectric metasurfaces are based on static structures defined by geometric parameters such as the shape and size of elements and their arrangement. However, it is crucial to enable the dynamic tunability of the metasurfaces to achieve their practical functionality – for example to make a lens with a tunable focus. Integrating optical metasurfaces into liquid crystal (LC) cells offers an efficient solution for dynamic control of metasurfaces' optical properties as long as they are compatible with the operating temperature and switching requirements. LC tunable metasurfaces can be implemented in various ways, using either the strong temperature dependence of the LC optical anisotropy, the realignment of the LCs by an external electric or magnetic field, or the LC's strong nonlinear response.
This project is focused on developing novel methods of design and integration of metasurfaces with liquid crystals to achieve efficient light manipulation. Such nanostructures will lead to realization of dynamically reconfigurable metadevices and they offer a unique opportunity to observe novel physical effects.