Huygens, Mackintosh, Dalí, and Medusa: Polarization engineering (and more?)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


As Christiaan Huygens must have felt in his bones but could not have articulated with a mathematical theory, engineering of the polarization state of light is easily accomplished with anisotropic materials. Examine a crystal to see that its capabilities are quite restricted by its rigid Cartesian morphology reminiscent of the straitened designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. But let loose the genius of Salvador Dalí to transform straight rods into the flowing tresses of Medusa, and you begin to appreciate what all can be done to the polarization state by nanoengineering morphology such that it is locally cartesian but globally curvilinear. If you exclaim "What rot!," a few simple examples may suffice to convince you that engineering of both the polarization state and the operating frequency band can be accomplished by nanoengineering the morphology of complex substances called sculptured thin films (STFs). These nanoengineered metamaterials offer other promises too.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Nature of Light
Subtitle of host publicationLight in Nature III
StatePublished - 2010
EventThe Nature of Light: Light in Nature III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2010Aug 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherThe Nature of Light: Light in Nature III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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