Electromagnetic metamaterials are artificial structures with electromagnetic properties not often met in natural materials. The first theoretically and experimentally considered metamaterials had a refractive index below zero (negative group velocity). Other types of metamaterials have a refractive index value close to zero or very high and generally offer spectral dispersion engineering ("slow" and "fast" light). The renowned journal Science quoted metamaterials as one of the ten most important science breakthrough in the last decade.
Our Centre was the first in Serbia and in western Balkans to start research of electromagnetic metamaterials and was the first in this part of Europe to publish national and international publications in that field. It also published the first paper in international journal dedicated to metamaterial-based chemical sensors. We performed theoretical and experimental investigation of optical metamaterials. We performed simulations of different configurations of metamaterials and performed experiments dedicated to structures for infrared and visible range. The fabrication of optical metamaterials is very complex since it is necessary to fabricate ordered structures with subwavelength dimensions, which in this case means that we need nanostructuring. A strategy used in our Centre was to utilize the microcantilever of an atomic force microscope to mechanically process thin metal film, which was used to fabricate submicrometyer structures like double split rings, extraordinary optical transmission arrays, etc. A part of ourt research is dedicated to gradient index metamaterials, a field in which the Centre is among pioneers in the world, since our first paper in that field was published in 2006.