Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Michael A. Marciniak, PhD


For miniaturization of future USAF unmanned aerial and space systems to become feasible, accompanying sensor components of these systems must also be reduced in size, weight and power (SWaP). Metasurfaces can act as planar equivalents to bulk optics, and thus possess a high potential to meet these low-SWaP requirements. However, functional efficiencies of plasmonic metasurface architectures have been too low for practical application in the infrared (IR) regime. Huygens-like forward-scattering inclusions may provide a solution to this deficiency, but there is no academic consensus on an optimal plasmonic architecture for obtaining efficient phase control at high frequencies. This dissertation asks the question: what are the ideal topologies for generating Huygens-like metasurface building blocks across a full 2π phase space? Instead of employing any a priori assumption of fundamental scattering topologies, a genetic algorithm (GA) routine was developed to optimize a “blank slate” grid of binary voxels inside a 3D cavity, evolving the voxel bits until a near-globally optimal transmittance (T) was attained at a targeted phase. All resulting designs produced a normalized T≥80 across the entire 2π range, which is the highest metasurface efficiency reported to-date for a plasmonic solution in the IR regime.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


Included in

Optics Commons