UKMMN Metamaterial Picture Competition 2022

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Title: Meta-cubism: generating 3D images from 2D metasurfaces

Image credit: Diane Roth

This image represents the projection of colour 3D images from a 2D nanostructured metasurface, illuminated by a white light source, for different angles of incidence. With the ability to manipulate the light reflection in a very precise way, a metasurface is used to trick the eye to perceive a 2D structure as a real 3D object, here a 3D cube. The projected image of the cube reacts to variations in the direction of illumination or viewing angle of the metasurface to produce an appropriate change in the brightness and shading of the cube faces, emulating the behaviour of a real 3D cube. Unlike typical holograms, metasurfaces manipulate the reflection of all colours of light simultaneously, so they appear as a realistic 3D object in any light condition and from any angle of observation. Not only useful for anti-counterfeiting applications, the unique properties of these metasurfaces could also have an impact on the development of new display technology and integrated flat optical components in devices.

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