Experimental and theoretical verification of focusing in a large, periodically loaded transmission line negative refractive index metamaterial

Opt Express. 2003 Apr 7;11(7):696-708. doi: 10.1364/oe.11.000696.


We have previously shown that a new class of Negative Refractive Index (NRI) metamaterials can be constructed by periodically loading a host transmission line medium with inductors and capacitors in a dual (high-pass) configuration. A small planar NRI lens interfaced with a Positive Refractive Index (PRI) parallel-plate waveguide recently succeeded in demonstrating focusing of cylindrical waves. In this paper, we present theoretical and experimental data describing the focusing and dispersion characteristics of a significantly improved device that exhibits minimal edge effects, a larger NRI region permitting precise extraction of dispersion data, and a PRI region consisting of a microstrip grid, over which the fields may be observed. The experimentally obtained dispersion data exhibits excellent agreement with the theory predicted by periodic analysis, and depicts an extremely broadband region from 960MHz to 2.5GHz over which the refractive index remains negative. At the frequency at which the theory predicts a relative refractive index of -1, the measured field distribution shows a focal spot with a maximum beam width under one-half of a guide wavelength. These results are compared with field distributions obtained through mathematical simulations based on the plane-wave expansion technique, and exhibit a qualitative correspondence. The success of this experiment attests to the repeatability of the original experiment and affirms the viability of the transmission line approach to the design of NRI metamaterials.