Attendees of The International Microwave Symposium (IMS) will hear from leading researchers on the subject of metamaterials ― one of the most compelling, and most debated, research topics in the microwave space ― in a special evening rump session entitled “Metamaterials: A Rich Opportunity for Discovery or an Over-Hyped Gravy Train?” on Tuesday, June 9. Metamaterials are artificially constructed to have electromagnetic properties beyond those found in naturally-occurring materials. To the general public, metamaterials have been hyped for their purported “cloaking” abilities, the enabling science behind such fictional creations as Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and the Romulans’ cloaking devices on Star Trek. However, for the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) members who will gather at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston June 7-12 for IMS2009, the topic is the subject of great interest with significant potential in a variety of applications, including optical lenses, microwave filters, electronics miniaturization and antennas.

“By bringing panelists on both sides of the debate together in this forum, we hope this session will provide a valuable opportunity for people to learn and understand the technical aspects of this field, so they can make their own determination,” said Professor Barry E. Spielman, Washington University, who organized the rump session. “One of the goals of the discussion is to ensure the equitable review of papers submitted to MTT-S publications by broadening the basis for characterizing and quantifying future research in this field.”

Metamaterials vs. Filters

The panelists represent two sides of a long-standing debate in the industry: those who have made important research contributions in the field of metamaterials, including Professor Christophe Caloz, Professor George V. Eleftheriades, Professor Tatsuo Itoh and Professor David R. Jackson; and the second group of individuals whose important scientific and technical contributions are focused on the field of microwave filters and networks: Dr. Smain Amari, Dr. Ralph Levy, Dr. J. David Rhodes and Dr. Richard V. Snyder. Professor Wolfgang Hoefer of the University of Victoria will moderate the panel. “Metamaterials Face-off [Speakers Corner],” included in the May 2009 issue of IEEE Microwave Magazine, initiates a more in-depth exposure for IMS2009 attendees who would like more background information in advance of the rump session.

New Metamaterials Research at IMS2009

During IMS, several sessions will detail recent metamaterials research, including Session TUIG “Theory and Applications of Metamaterials” at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, which will be dedicated to new metamaterials research with four presentations from researchers based in the US, Japan and Germany.