The Bergman-Milton bounds provide limits on the effective permittivity of a composite material comprising two isotropic dielectric materials. These provide tight bounds for composites arising from many conventional materials. We reconsider the Bergman-Milton bounds in light of the recent emergence of metamaterials, in which unconventional parameter regimes for relative permittivities are encountered. Specifically, it is demonstrated that: (a) for nondissipative materials the bounds may be unlimited if the constituent materials have relative permittivities of opposite signs; (b) for weakly dissipative materials characterized by relative permittivities with real parts of opposite signs, the bounds may be exceedingly large.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering