Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CST interviews Professor Mário G. Silveirinha, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Professor Mário G. Silveirinha is an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. His interests include metamaterials, nano-optics and plasmonics. His group won the CST University Publication Award in 2012 for a research paper on ultraconfined interlaced plasmons. We had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his research and his use of simulation.

CST: Hello Mario, we’re happy you could take the time to speak to us. The paper which won our University Publication Award was for a study of ultraconfined interlaced plasmons. What was the background to this work – was it purely theoretical, or are there applications for these plasmons?

There are indeed many applications!

In general, the diffraction of light prevents us from doing many interesting things. For example, diffraction limits the miniaturization of microwave and optical devices because the confinement of light in a standard waveguide (e.g. an optical fiber) requires that the characteristic size of the cross-section should be of the same order of magnitude as the light wavelength.
In our work, we explored the potentials of a novel artificial material formed by a dense mesh of crossed metallic wires showing that it supports localized charge density oscillations (interlaced plasmons), whose characteristic spatial size is determined by the entanglement of the grids, rather than by the electrical length of the metallic wires.
Interestingly, because of the deeply subwavelength size of the interlaced plasmons, they can serve as the basis for either novel ultra-subwavelength waveguides, or for the design of novel broadband “superlenses” able to restore subwavelength features inaccessible to conventional systems.
For example, in a follow up study (M. G. Silveirinha, C. R. Medeiros, C. A. Fernandes, J. R. Costa, New J. Phys. 13, 053004, 2011) we experimentally verified that the interlaced plasmons enable to resolve objects separated by subwavelength distances over a broad range of frequencies. This can have interesting applications in sensing, microscopy, and in radiofrequency identification systems (RFID).

CST: How did you use simulation in this project, and how did it fit in with the theoretical and experimental work?

We used CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® (CST MWS) to characterize the electromagnetic response of a microwave prototype that served to demonstrate the excitation, ultra-confinement, and the propagation of the interlaced plasmons. The agreement between CST and our experimental results was really good! Moreover, the results obtained with CST compared extremely well with an analytical model developed by us.

CST: Did the award help you or your group in carrying out research?

Absolutely! Most of all, I would like to say that we were really honored that our research work was distinguished by CST. The award gave us additional resources to run our simulations, and this was extremely useful because CST MWS is an invaluable work tool in most of our projects.

CST: Is there any other work you’re involved in that you would like to highlight?

Yes, recently we became interested in the problem of trapping light in a bounded open material cavity. The lifetimes of light oscillations in closed lossless cavities, e.g. a closed metallic box with perfectly conducting walls, can in theory be infinitely large because the photons are unable to escape the system. However, in open systems the light energy continuously leaks away in the form of a radiated wave, and hence the oscillation lifetime is finite. Interestingly, we discovered a way out of this bottleneck (M. G. Silveirinha, Phys. Rev. A, 89, 023813, 2014), and demonstrated that in the limit of no material loss volume plasmons may provide perfect electromagnetic shielding. Our solution allows for free light oscillations with an infinite lifetime in a dielectric core, despite the fact that the cavity is open and transparent to the radiation coming from the outside world. CST MWS was essential to support our ideas, and allowed us to demonstrate how based on nonlinear materials it may be possible to trap quantized amounts of radiation – with a very specific value of the electromagnetic energy – in an open cavity!

CST: Thank you for your time, and for sharing some very interesting results with us!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Celebrate the Day of Photonics with CST

Photonic coupling into a plasmonic waveguide
Everything has a day in its honor, and future technologies are no exception.

On October 21, companies and research organizations worldwide will be celebrating the Day of Photonics by organizing events for photonics engineers and the wider community.

We will be doing our part as a supporter of the event with an afternoon session at the CST US headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts to discuss some of the challenges facing photonics engineers and the role of simulation in optical and photonic design.

Pizza, soft drinks and informal chats about your simulation requirements with CST engineers will follow a talk about the cutting-edge developments in photonic simulation.

We have many years of experience of simulation for optical applications, and the range of specialized material types, simulation features and post-processing methods for photonic simulation in CST STUDIO SUITE is constantly growing. We’d be delighted to hear what you do with our software, and learn more about your requirements.

So, if you’re interested, register now and secure your place.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

CST takes 3D EM simulation to Rome for EuMW

Click here for our schedule of talks
All roads lead to Rome, the saying goes. And next week CST is on the road to Rome to attend Europe's largest microwave and RF event.

To be held at the Fiera de Roma conference centre, the six day European Microwave Week (EuMW) 2014 is going to be big. Three conferences on leading developments, workshops, seminars, a trade and technology exhibition with more than 250 exhibitors, an estimated 2000 conference delegates and more than 5000 visitors.

CST is rightly proud to be a platnium sponsor of this major event. EuMW visitors can check their emails at the CST-sponsored cyber café in the exhibition hall and delegates can use the WiFi access in the conference area.

As well as sponsorship, we will also be part of the daily action, including a full schedule of free electromagnetic (EM) simulation presentations at CST booth 109. During the exhibition, running October 7-9, we will be offering free application presentations and simulation technology talks from 10:30 to 16:00.

Here's a snapshot of what we'll be doing:

The 2015 version of  CST STUDIO SUITE® will be unveiled and previewed at the show. Each day our expert staff will demonstrate new features between 10:30 and 11:30. CST STUDIO SUITE 2015 features a new powerful Array Wizard tool for synthesizing and designing antenna arrays. The 2015 version's full-wave high frequency solvers are also more tightly integrated than ever.

EM Simulation Presentations
For the duration of the exhibition, we will be offering 35 free demonstrations, customer presentations and simulation technology talks. Included on the agenda are talks on EM simulation for space applications, numerical simulation of metamaterial inspired components and antennas, EMC in the design flow of modern electronics, comparing simulation and measurement and much more. Download the full schedule here.

Antenna Magus
We will be hosting talks and live demonstrations from Magus Pty., showing how Antenna Magus can be used alongside CST software.

Booth Party
Come along to our traditional booth party on Tuesday October 7 from 16:30 to closing for drinks, snacks and an informal chat with our EM simulation experts.

Presentations in Italian
On Wednesday October 8, from 13:00 to 16:30, we're hosting eight application and simulation technology talks in Italian.

It's going to be a great week and we're looking forward to meeting you there.