The objective of PHOTOMETASURF is to develop a Hub of Excellence in photonically enabled metasurfaces for 5G applications, with the overall socio-economic aim of enhancing the Research, Technology, Development and Innovation (RTDI) capabilities of Cyprus. This will be established at the EMPHASIS Research Centre of the University of Cyprus in collaboration with two leading Japanese centres of excellence in microwaves and photonics, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Waseda University. This will enable Cypriot researchers to benefit from exposure to cutting-edge research methods and use of advanced instrumentation, thus increasing their technical know-how in areas of importance to the economy, such as the ICT area of wireless communications.
PHOTOMETASURF will develop compact and highly directive metasurface radiators, whose beamforming properties can be reconfigured optically. Achieving highly-directive yet compact and low-profile radiators continues to be a major challenge for RF engineers designing small front-end units. These high-gain radiators find uses in numerous emerging applications - 5G wireless networks, satellite communications, and automotive radars - which require narrow, focused beams to operate effectively. Furthermore, since many applications require on-the-move connectivity, the radiators must also feature beam steering capabilities to maintain a high-gain link with other radiators. In this project, reconfigurable metasurfaces will be implemented to provide beam steering capabilities for 5G applications, and to also control the properties of the radiation, such as the beamwidth, sidelobe level, and the elimination of reflected waves. The feeding network will be operated at candidate mm-wave bands for 5G, including 28 GHz, 38 GHz and 60 GHz, while the feeding network will be controlled via a multi-core optical fibre, and the parameters of the metasurface will be controlled optically using a light source that will illuminate the metasurface.
 Haris Votsi, Asif Bilal, Kyriakos Neophytou, Atsushi Kanno, Tetsuya Kawanishi, Marco Antoniades, and Stavros Iezekiel, “Photonically enabled metasurfaces for 5g,” in Proc. 33rd General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (URSI GASS), Rome, Italy, 2020, pp. 1–3.
Abstract: An optically reconfigurable metasurface is proposed for use as an antenna radiator at 28 GHz. The metasurface is transmittive and is fed through a horn antenna connected to a multi-core-fibre link, significantly reducing the losses compared to a mm-wave feed. In the proposed system, radiated beams will be photonically controlled using a spatial light modulator, thus not requiring the use of optical fibers. For optical reconfigurability the switching component will be based on silicon instead of photodiodes and varactors, eliminating the need for an active biasing network.
Keywords: system design, optical control, concept introduction, metasurfaces, 5G