The massive exploitation of metamaterials at the nanoscale has cause a leap in controlling light-matter interactions, bringing forward a manifold of entirely new functionalities. Traditionally the design of metamaterials has been inspired by the assembly of subwavelength spaced building blocks, which control their optical properties. In this study, we are into introducing a new class of optical materials based on nano-sized metallic networks. The key design principle is a sub-wavelength network with functional connectivity in analogy to other robust networks, such as the internet.
Structural colours have drawn wide attention for their potential as a future printing technology for various applications, ranging from biomimetic tissues to adaptive camouflage materials. However, an efficient approach to realise robust colours with a scalable fabrication technique is still lacking, hampering the realisation of practical applications with this platform. Here we develop a new approach based on large scale network metamaterials, which combine dealloyed subwavelength structures at the nanoscale with loss-less, ultra-thin dielectrics coatings.