Effective Medium Theory for Anisotropic Metamaterials

  • Xiujuan Zhang

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This dissertation includes the study of effective medium theories (EMTs) and their applications in describing wave propagation in anisotropic metamaterials, which can guide the design of metamaterials. An EMT based on field averaging is proposed to describe a peculiar anisotropic dispersion relation that is linear along the symmetry line but quadratic in the perpendicular direction. This dispersion relation is associated with the topological transition of the iso-frequency contours (IFCs), suggesting interesting wave propagation behaviors from beam shaping to beam splitting. In the framework of coherent potential approximation, an analytical EMT is further developed, with the ability to build a direct connection between the microscopic structure and the macroscopic material properties, which overcomes the requirement of prior knowledge of the field distributions. The derived EMT is valid beyond the long-wavelength limit. Using the EMT, an anisotropic zero-index metamaterial is designed. Moreover, the derived EMT imposes a condition that no scattered wave is generated in the ambient medium, which suggests the input signal cannot detect any object that might exist, making it invisible. Such correspondence between the EMT and the invisibilityinspires us to explore the wave cloaking in the same framework of coherent potential approximation. To further broaden the application realm of EMT, an EMT using the parameter retrieval method is studied in the regimes where the previously-developed EMTs are no longer accurate. Based on this study, in conjunction with the EMT mentioned above, a general scheme to realize coherent perfect absorption (CPA) in anisotropic metamaterials is proposed. As an exciting area in metamaterials, the field of metasurfaces has drawn great attention recently. As an easily attainable device, a grating may be the simplest version of metasurfaces. Here, an analytical EMT for gratings made of cylinders is developed by using the multiple scattering theory (MST) method and the lattice sum. Validation of the theory is verified by the agreement between the EMT predictions and the numerical calculations. It is found the EMT is capable of accurately predicting the wave transport behaviors, even for frequencies where the Mie resonances happen.
Date of AwardNov 12 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering
SupervisorYing Wu (Supervisor)


  • Effective Medium Theory
  • Anisotropic Metamaterials
  • wave cloaking
  • wave absorption
  • grating structure

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