New Metamaterial Can Store Light, then Release It
Nakanishi and co have created a metamaterial in which each repeating unit contains two variable capacitors.
One of the capacitors is designed to absorb and radiate waves at a particular frequency while the other is designed to trap them. If the capacitors are tuned to the same frequency, any light at that frequency is absorbed and trapped. Detuning the capacitors then releases the electromagnetic waves, allowing them to continue on their way…
Impressively, Nakanishi and co have built a proof-of-principle device that does exactly this with microwaves. That’s the first time anybody has demonstrated the storage and release of electromagnetic waves using a metamaterial.
What’s more impressive, however, is that the released waves have the same phase distribution as the originals. “The electromagnetic waves were stored and released, while maintaining the phase distribution in the propagating direction,” they say.
(via First Demonstration of the Storage And Release of Light in a Metamaterial | MIT Technology Review)