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Self-stabilizing curved metasurfaces as a sail for light-propelled spacecrafts

Gieseler, Niels 1; Rahimzadegan, Aso ORCID iD icon 1; Rockstuhl, Carsten 1,2
1 Institut für Theoretische Festkörperphysik (TFP), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Institut für Nanotechnologie (INT), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Laser-driven spacecrafts are promising candidates for explorations to outer space. These spacecrafts should accelerate to a fraction of the speed of light upon illumination with earth-based laser systems. There are several challenges for such an ambitious mission that needs to be addressed yet. A matter of utmost importance is the stability of the spacecraft during the acceleration. Furthermore, the spacecraft sails should effectively reflect the light without absorptive-overheating. To address these requirements, we propose the design of a lightweight, low-absorbing, high-reflective, and self-stabilizing curved metasurface made from c-Si nanoparticles. A method to determine the stability is presented and, based on the multipole expansion method, the rotational stability of the curved metasurfaces is examined and the optimal operating regime is identified. The curvature is shown to be beneficial for the overall stability of the metasurface. The validity of the method is verified through numerical simulations of the time evolution of the trajectory of an identified metasurface. The results show that curved metasurfaces are a promising candidate for laser-driven spacecrafts.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000135681
Veröffentlicht am 09.08.2021
DOI: 10.1364/OE.420475
Zitationen: 4
Web of Science
Zitationen: 4
Zitationen: 4
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Nanotechnologie (INT)
Institut für Theoretische Festkörperphysik (TFP)
Universität Karlsruhe (TH) – Interfakultative Einrichtungen (Interfakultative Einrichtungen)
Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1094-4087
KITopen-ID: 1000135681
HGF-Programm 43.32.02 (POF IV, LK 01) Designed Optical Materials
Erschienen in Optics Express
Verlag Optica Publishing Group (OSA)
Band 29
Heft 14
Seiten 21562-21575
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
Web of Science
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