David R. Smith

David R. Smith

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Director of the Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics

Professor of Physics (Secondary)

Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Office Location: 
2527 CIEMAS Building, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90291, Durham, NC 27708-0291
(919) 660-5376


Dr. David R. Smith is currently the James B. Duke Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Duke University. He is also Director of the Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics at Duke and holds the positions of Adjunct Associate Professor in the Physics Department at the University of California, San Diego, and Visiting Professor of Physics at Imperial College, London. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in 1994 in Physics from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Smith's research interests include the theory, simulation and characterization of unique electromagnetic structures, including photonic crystals and metamaterials.  

Smith is best known for his theoretical and experimental work on electromagnetic metamaterials. Metamaterials are artificially structured materials, whose electromagnetic properties can be tailored and tuned in ways not easily accomplished with conventional materials. Smith has been at the forefront in the development of numerical methods to design and characterize metamaterials, and has also provided many of the key experiments that have helped to illustrate the potential that metamaterials offer. Smith and his colleagues at UCSD demonstrated the first left-handed (or negative index) metamaterial at microwave frequencies in 2000--a material that had been predicted theoretically more than thirty years prior by Russian physicist Victor Veselago. No naturally occurring material or compound with a negative index-of-refraction had ever been reported until this experiment. In 2001, Smith and colleagues followed up with a second experiment confirming one of Veselago's key conjectures: the 'reversal' of Snell's law. These two papers--the first published in Physical Review Letters and the second in Science--generated enormous interest throughout the community in the possibility of metamaterials to extend and augment the properties of conventional materials. Both papers have now been cited more than 3,000 times each.

Since those first metamaterial experiments, Smith has continued to study the fundamentals and potential applications of negative index media and metamaterials. In 2004, Smith began studying the potential of metamaterials as a means to produce novel gradient index media. By varying the index-of-refraction throughout a material, an entire class of optical elements (such as lenses) can be formed. Smith showed that metamaterials could access a much larger range of design space, since both the magnetic and the electric properties could be graded independently. Smith and colleagues demonstrated several versions of gradient index optics, an activity that continues in his lab today. The introduction of controlled spatial gradients in the electromagnetic properties of a metamaterial flows naturally into the broad concept of transformation optics - a new electromagnetic design approach proposed by Sir John Pendry in 2006. To illustrate of the novelty of this design approach, Pendry, Schurig and Smith suggested in 2006 that an 'invisibility cloak' could be realized by a metamaterial implementation of a transformation optical design. Later that same year, Smith's group at Duke University reported the demonstration of a transformation optical designed 'invisibility cloak' at microwave frequencies. The concept of transformation optics has since attracted the attention of the scientific community, and is now a rapidly emerging sub-discipline in the field.

Smith's work on transformation optics has been featured in nearly every major newspaper, including a cover story in USA Today, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and many more. Smith and his work on cloaking have also been featured on television news programs inlcuding The Today Show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. Smith's work has also been highlighted in documentary programs on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, the BBC and others.

Please also see Prof. Smith's personal website at http://people.ee.duke.edu/~drsmith for the most frequent updates.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of California - San Diego 1994

  • B.S., University of California - San Diego 1988

Abadi, M. M., et al. “Dual purpose antenna for hybrid free space optics/RF communication systems.” Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 34, no. 14, July 2016, pp. 3432–39. Scopus, doi:10.1109/JLT.2016.2571846. Full Text

Fromenteze, Thomas, et al. “Phaseless computational imaging with a radiating metasurface.Optics Express, vol. 24, no. 15, July 2016, pp. 16760–76. Epmc, doi:10.1364/oe.24.016760. Full Text

Bowen, P. T., et al. “Theory of patch-antenna metamaterial perfect absorbers.” Physical Review A, vol. 93, no. 6, June 2016. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.93.063849. Full Text

Sleasman, T., et al. “Design considerations for a dynamic metamaterial aperture for computational imaging at microwave frequencies.” Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics, vol. 33, no. 6, June 2016, pp. 1098–111. Scopus, doi:10.1364/JOSAB.33.001098. Full Text

Yurduseven, O., et al. “Printed Aperiodic Cavity for Computational and Microwave Imaging.” Ieee Microwave and Wireless Components Letters, vol. 26, no. 5, May 2016, pp. 367–69. Scopus, doi:10.1109/LMWC.2016.2548443. Full Text

Marks, Daniel L., et al. “Spatially resolving antenna arrays using frequency diversity.Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics, Image Science, and Vision, vol. 33, no. 5, May 2016, pp. 899–912. Epmc, doi:10.1364/josaa.33.000899. Full Text

Yurduseven, Okan, et al. “Frequency-diverse microwave imaging using planar Mills-Cross cavity apertures.Optics Express, vol. 24, no. 8, Apr. 2016, pp. 8907–25. Epmc, doi:10.1364/oe.24.008907. Full Text

Smith, D. R., et al. “Evolution patterns and parameter regimes in edge localized modes on the National Spherical Torus Experiment.” Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, vol. 58, no. 4, Jan. 2016. Scopus, doi:10.1088/0741-3335/58/4/045003. Full Text

Dechaux, M., et al. “Influence of spatial dispersion in metals on the optical response of deeply subwavelength slit arrays.” Physical Review B, vol. 93, no. 4, Jan. 2016. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.93.045413. Full Text

Sleasman, T., et al. “Waveguide-Fed Tunable Metamaterial Element for Dynamic Apertures.” Ieee Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, vol. 15, Jan. 2016, pp. 606–09. Scopus, doi:10.1109/LAWP.2015.2462818. Full Text


Yurduseven, O., et al. “A dual-polarized solar cell stacked microstrip patch antenna with a λ/4 DC/RF isolation circuit for 5.8 GHz band WiMAX networks.” 8th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation, Eucap 2014, 2014, pp. 1382–85. Scopus, doi:10.1109/EuCAP.2014.6902036. Full Text

Smith, D., et al. “An outline of indirect holographic methods for antenna measurements and microwave imaging.” 2014 24th International Conference Radioelektronika, Radioelektronika 2014  Proceedings, 2014. Scopus, doi:10.1109/Radioelek.2014.6828403. Full Text

Del Pozo, S., et al. “Characterisation of an RF excited argon plasma cathode electron beam gun.” 2014 10th International Vacuum Electron Sources Conference, Ivesc 2014 and 2nd International Conference on Emission Electronics, Icee 2014  Proceedings, 2014. Scopus, doi:10.1109/IVESC.2014.6892062. Full Text

Del Pozo, S., et al. “Spectroscopic characterization of a novel RF excited plasma cathode electron beam gun design.” Ieee International Vacuum Electronics Conference, Ivec 2014, 2014, pp. 169–70. Scopus, doi:10.1109/IVEC.2014.6857544. Full Text

Lipworth, G., et al. “Simulations of 2D metamaterial apertures for coherent computational imaging.” 2013 Ieee International Conference on Microwaves, Communications, Antennas and Electronic Systems, Comcas 2013, 2013. Scopus, doi:10.1109/COMCAS.2013.6685286. Full Text

Yurduseven, O., et al. “Solar cell stacked modified Z-double L-slot quad-band PIFA.” 2013 7th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation, Eucap 2013, 2013, pp. 3721–25.

Yurduseven, O., et al. “Cross-coax fed wideband solar patch antenna.” Proceedings of 13th Conference on Microwave Techniques, Comite 2013  Marew 2013: Microwave and Radio Electronics Week 2013, 2013, pp. 25–30. Scopus, doi:10.1109/COMITE.2013.6545037. Full Text

Smith, D., et al. “The use of indirect holographic techniques for microwave imaging.” Proceedings of 13th Conference on Microwave Techniques, Comite 2013  Marew 2013: Microwave and Radio Electronics Week 2013, 2013, pp. 16–21. Scopus, doi:10.1109/COMITE.2013.6545036. Full Text

Yurduseven, O., et al. “Investigations of resolution limits for indirect microwave holographic imaging.” International Journal of Rf and Microwave Computer Aided Engineering, vol. 23, no. 4, 2013, pp. 410–16. Scopus, doi:10.1002/mmce.20727. Full Text

Abadi, M. M., et al. “A report on H-FSO/RF antenna measurement for outdoor applications.” Proceedings of the 2013 2nd International Workshop on Optical Wireless Communications, Iwow 2013, 2013, pp. 118–22. Scopus, doi:10.1109/IWOW.2013.6777790. Full Text