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Advanced Photonics, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 014001 (2019)

Transformation optics from macroscopic to nanoscale regimes: a review

Jingjing Zhang1, John B. Pendry2,*, and Yu Luo1,*

Author Affiliations

  • 1Nanyang Technological University, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Singapore
  • 2Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, Department of Physics, London, United Kingdom


Transformation optics is a mathematical method that is based on the geometric interpretation of Maxwell’s equations. This technique enables a direct link between a desired electromagnetic (EM) phenomenon and the material response required for its occurrence, providing a powerful and intuitive design tool for the control of EM fields on all length scales. With the unprecedented design flexibility offered by transformation optics (TO), researchers have demonstrated a host of interesting devices, such as invisibility cloaks, field concentrators, and optical illusion devices. Recently, the applications of TO have been extended to the subwavelength scale to study surface plasmon-assisted phenomena, where a general strategy has been suggested to design and study analytically various plasmonic devices and investigate the associated phenomena, such as nonlocal effects, Casimir interactions, and compact dimensions. We review the basic concept of TO and its advances from macroscopic to the nanoscale regimes.