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.
N. Mohammadi Estakhri and A. Alù, “Wavefront Transformation with Gradient Metasurfaces,” Physical Review X, Vol. 6, No. 4, 041008 (17 pages), October 14, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.6.041008.
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