Hyperbolic metamaterials enable nanoscale ‘fingerprinting’

(American Institute of Physics) Hyperbolic metamaterials are artificially made structures that can be formed by depositing alternating thin layers of a conductor such as silver or graphene onto a substrate. One of their special abilities is supporting the propagation of a very narrow light beam. This narrow beam can then be used to ‘fingerprint’ and obtain spatial and material information about nanometer-scale objects — allowing identification without complete images. Researchers report their work in APL Photonics.