PhotoniX, Volume. 1, Issue 1, 1(2020)

Information Metamaterials: bridging the physical world and digital world

Qian Ma and Tie Jun Cui*
Author Affiliations
  • State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Wave, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
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    Over the past 5 years, digital coding and programmable metamaterials have been developed rapidly since their first exhibition in 2014. The iconic feature of the digital coding metamaterial is using digital codes like “0” and “1” to represent the distinct electromagnetic (EM) responses. This seemingly trivial progress has successfully reform the design theory from the effective medium to coding patterns, bridging the physical world and digital information world. More interestingly, beyond the simple coding on the parameters or patterns, the digital coding metamaterials are more intend to introduce the concept of direct interactions and operations of digital information within EM fields, to realize information processing, transmission or recognition. To accurately exhibit the informational specialties, we classify the coding metamaterials, digital metamaterials and programmable metamaterials, as well as other information-operating metamaterials, as information metamaterials. In this review article, we firstly introduce the digital coding concept, working mechanism, and related design methods. Then, three important theories including the scattering pattern calculation, convolution operation, and entropy of digital coding metamaterials, are discussed in details. Finally we introduce several system-level works based on the information metamaterials, such as the new-architecture wireless communication systems and reprogrammable imaging systems, to show the powerful manipulation capabilities of information metamaterials. As the next generation of information metamaterials, two proof-of-concept smart metamaterials and their advanced architectures are discussed. In the summary, the development track of information metamaterials and future trends are presented.


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    Qian Ma, Tie Jun Cui. Information Metamaterials: bridging the physical world and digital world[J]. PhotoniX, 2020, 1(1): 1

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    Paper Information

    Category: Research Articles

    Received: Jan. 2, 2020

    Accepted: Jan. 29, 2020

    Published Online: Jul. 10, 2023

    The Author Email: Cui Tie Jun (