Carbon Layers Lead the Way towards a New Generation of Metamaterials
Graphene — a one layer thick sheet of carbon atoms — has special properties that make it a desirable material for manipulating terahertz waves.Terahertz applications operate at frequencies between microwave and far infrared. Some metamaterials, which are engineered structures that can manipulate light in ways not seen in conventional materials, could benefit by replacing the metals currently used to build them with graphene. Indeed, graphene provides a number of advantages over metals including that its properties offer the unprecedented ability to tune the electrical response for a given application. Graphene also offers the advantage of a potential enhancement of terahertz wave confinement. Experimental data have shown significantly higher electrical losses than has been estimated by theoretical work, showing there is more research that needs to be done to make metamaterial devices from graphene.