3D acoustic cloaking device


Duke ECE is home to world leaders in metamaterials and metasurfaces. Our faculty members demonstrated the world’s first negative refractive index metamaterial in 2000, and in 2006 a Duke ECE engineer invented a metamaterial “invisibility cloak” that renders objects undetectable at microwave frequencies. Currently, a $7.5 million DoD investment funds our proving ground for acoustic metamaterials, while eight companies—and counting—have grown from our research.

A student works in David Smith's lab

Research Areas

  • Electromagnetic metamaterials and metasurfaces
  • Quantum nanophotonics
  • Plasmonics
  • Nonlinear, transformation and fiber optics
  • Electromagnetic cloaking


Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics

Good to Know

David Smith

David Smith was named among the 2021 Top 1% of Highly Cited Researchers (Clarivate Analytics)

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Primary Faculty


Steven A. Cummer

William H. Younger Distinguished Professor of Engineering

Research Interests: Theoretical and experimental electromagnetic problems related to geophysical remote sensing and engineered electromagnetic materials.


Natalia Litchinitser

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests: Nanophotonics; Photonic Metamaterials; Nonlinear Optics; Fiber Optics; Photonic Crystal Fibers


Maiken Mikkelsen

James N. and Elizabeth H. Barton Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests: Quantum nanophotonics, plasmonics, light-matter interactions in artificially structured nanoscale materials, hybrid molecular-scale materials and spin phenomena in the solid state


Willie John Padilla

Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests: Theoretical and experimental investigation of electromagnetic metamaterials and metasurfaces, and their application to imaging and sensing at microwave, terahertz, and infrared frequencies


David R. Smith

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests: Theory, simulation and demonstration of novel electromagnetic metamaterials across the spectrum, from microwave through optical. Applications of metamaterials for antennas and imaging devices, with a focus on security imaging and satellite imaging. General studies on advanced…