Broadband wave plates made by plasmonic metamaterials
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Although metamaterials wave-plates have been demonstrated previously, many of them suffer from the issue of narrow bandwidth since they typically rely on resonance principles and thus exhibit inevitable frequency dispersions. Here, we show that the dispersion of spoof surface plasmon (SSP) mode supported by a fishbone structure can be freely modulated by varying the structural parameters. This motivates us to establish a general strategy of building broadband wave-plates by cascading two fishbone structures with different propagation constants of SSP modes. We derive a criterion under which the cross-polarization phase-difference across the whole device can maintain at a nearly constant value over a wide frequency band, with frequency dispersions in the two fishbone structures cancelled out. As an illustration, we design and fabricate an efficient microwave quarter-wave plate and experimentally characterize its excellent polarization-control performances over a broad frequency band (7-9.2 GHz). Our findings can stimulate making dispersion-controlled high-performance optical functional devices in different frequency domains.