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Topological Transitions in Metamaterials

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Science  13 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6078, pp. 205-209
DOI: 10.1126/science.1219171

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Manipulating Optical Topology

Phase transitions in solid-state systems are often associated with a drastic change in the properties of that system. For example, metal-to-insulator transition or magnetic-to-nonmagnetic states find wide application in memory storage technology. An exotic electronic phase transition is the Lifshitz transition, whereby the Fermi surface undergoes a change in topology and a drastic change in the electronic density of states. Krishnamoorthy et al. (p. 205) now show that the notion of such a phase transition can be carried over to the optical regime by the suitable design of a metamaterial structure. This effect could be used to control the interaction between light and matter.

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