Document Type


Publication Date



Relying on abrupt phase discontinuities, metasurfaces characterized by a transversely inhomogeneous surface impedance profile have been recently explored as an ultrathin platform to generate arbitrary wave fronts over subwavelength thicknesses. Here, we outline fundamental limitations of passive gradient metasurfaces in molding the impinging wave and show that local phase compensation is essentially insufficient to realize arbitrary wave manipulation, but full-wave designs should be considered. These findings represent a critical step towards realistic and highly efficient conformal wave manipulation beyond the scope of ray optics, enabling unprecedented nanoscale light molding.


This article was originally published in Physical Review X, volume 6, issue 4, in 2016.


The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.