Advanced Metamaterials for Beamforming and Physical Layer Processing

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2023

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Abstract

The design and characterization of electromagnetic metamaterial structures and their constituent subwavelength metamaterial elements are presented. The proposed structures can be employed in beamforming and physical layer processing applications. The common approach for designing such structures involves extracting the effective medium properties of the elements, a methodology inspired by early metamaterial research. The modeling and simulation method is made computationally feasible by assuming a periodic arrangement of the elements. In the case of aperiodic structures, the periodic assumption is no longer valid, and the electromagnetic behavior cannot be predicted accurately. To get a more accurate picture, the electromagnetic properties of individual elements must be evaluated to design a metamaterial structure. In this dissertation, I outline robust steps to realize electromagnetic metamaterial structures by characterizing metamaterial elements without any periodicity assumptions. The subwavelength elements are modeled as electric and magnetic dipoles, and I use dipole-based optimization techniques to design the structures. The dipolar elements are described by their electric and magnetic polarizabilities. Polarizability extraction methods to characterize the different metamaterial elements using numerical simulations are discussed in detail.

In recent years, the coupled dipole model (CDM) has been fully developed to predict the electromagnetic behavior of metamaterial given the element polarizabilities. However, the inverse problem to arrive at the desired medium given some desired behavior is a non-linear problem and can be computationally expensive to solve. Traditionally, holographic methods are used to linearize the problem in the perturbative limits limit to make it computationally tractable. The recently introduced symphotic method solves the non-linear electromagnetic inverse problem efficiently by iteratively solving two linear systems without making any assumptions. This allows one to encode multiple operations in a volume which is not possible with standard computer-generated holography design methods. Here, the two inverse design tools- holography and symphotic are investigated under the dipole framework and validated both numerically and experimentally using different metamaterial structures and corresponding elements.

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Pande, Divya (2023). Advanced Metamaterials for Beamforming and Physical Layer Processing. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29186.

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