Research Topic

Smart Metasurfaces for Global Connectivity

About this Research Topic

Metasurfaces refer to an artificial arrangement of metamaterials carefully engineered to control EM waves. This can be achieved by adaptively switching between different functionalities, as a means to maximize wireless communication capabilities. By including distributed sensing to those metasurfaces, a novel key enabling non–invasive broadband technology is created. This technology, called here as smart metasurfaces, will open the path for the new era of worldwide omniconnectivity which encompasses real-time communication, sensing, monitoring, and data processing among humans, objects, and their environment.

As research on metasurfaces to achieve omniconnectivity is still at its infancy, there are many open questions that need to be answered. For instance, metasurfaces will be a full duplex (transmitting/receiving) system that exploits all networks (from the local up to the satellite level) and by using the whole frequency spectrum (from microwave frequency to optics). In this regard, the modeling and design of transmission/reception functionalities, with other devices and other metasurfaces, and their optimization are important areas. Deployment of smart metasurfaces in wireless networks is another important area, especially research into developing novel computation and cognition models for self-organized pervasive metasurfaces towards zero-touch networks. Finally, the impact of metasurfaces in omniconnectivity development in future generation networks can only be answered by extensive performance analysis, link, and system level simulations. Many other questions related to communication/sensing functionalities integration, metasurfaces autonomy enabled by ad-hoc energy harvesting integrated modules, security and personal privacy control by material construction are all of interest to boost the concept of omniconnectivity in future generations networks.

Based on the current state of research, we believe that there are still a number of open issues remaining to be addressed before metasurfaces and RIS techniques can be applied in practical systems for global connectivity. This Research Topic Article Collection is intended to bring together academics, researchers, and engineers to share high-quality research in metasurfaces and reconfigurable surfaces and their applications to future wireless communications. In addition, the Research Topic will allow researchers to identify new opportunities for research and collaboration.

It is envisioned that this smart metasurface technology, and the related concept of omniconnectivity, will put humans and their interactions at the center of the future digital society. Thus, the goal of this Research Topic is to attract research works that provide innovative ways for using metasurfaces to enable seamless and ubiquitous communication in a fully secured and personal sphere, and creating new opportunities for future generation networks.

Based on the current state of research, we evince that there are still a number of open issues remaining to be addressed before metasurfaces and RIS techniques can be applied in practical systems for global connectivity. This Research Topic Article Collection is intended to bring together academics, researchers, and engineers to share high-quality research in metasurfaces and reconfigurable surfaces and their applications to future wireless communications. In addition, the Research Topic will allow researchers to identify new opportunities for research and collaboration.

The themes of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Joint active and passive beamforming in multi-metasurface multi-user scenario
• Metasurface-based devices and applications;
• Metasurafce-assisted wireless terrestrial and aerial communications;
• Metasurface optimization for localization, sensing, and tracking;
• Metasurafce empowered simultaneous localization and communication;
• Energetically self-sufficient metasaurface-aided networks;
• Physical layer security for metasusrface-aided networks;
• Signal processing in metasurface-aided networks communications and networks;
• Low-complexity channel estimation in metasurface-aided networks;
• Combinations of metasurface-assisted communications and other techniques (MIMO, NOMA, relay, Full-Duplex, …);
• Full-duplex metasurface-assisted communications;
• New architectures and communication protocols for metasuraface-aided networks;
• Metasurface-aided networks and testbeds;
• Applications of machine learning to metasurface-aided networks;
• Other emerging topics related to metasurface-aided communications and networks.

Extended versions of papers published in conferences, symposiums, or workshop proceedings are encouraged for considerations. We also highly recommend the submission of multimedia with each original research article as it significantly increases the visibility, downloads, and citations of articles.


Keywords: Metasurfaces, Metamaterial, Reconfigurable surfaces, Omniconnectivity, 6G


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Metasurfaces refer to an artificial arrangement of metamaterials carefully engineered to control EM waves. This can be achieved by adaptively switching between different functionalities, as a means to maximize wireless communication capabilities. By including distributed sensing to those metasurfaces, a novel key enabling non–invasive broadband technology is created. This technology, called here as smart metasurfaces, will open the path for the new era of worldwide omniconnectivity which encompasses real-time communication, sensing, monitoring, and data processing among humans, objects, and their environment.

As research on metasurfaces to achieve omniconnectivity is still at its infancy, there are many open questions that need to be answered. For instance, metasurfaces will be a full duplex (transmitting/receiving) system that exploits all networks (from the local up to the satellite level) and by using the whole frequency spectrum (from microwave frequency to optics). In this regard, the modeling and design of transmission/reception functionalities, with other devices and other metasurfaces, and their optimization are important areas. Deployment of smart metasurfaces in wireless networks is another important area, especially research into developing novel computation and cognition models for self-organized pervasive metasurfaces towards zero-touch networks. Finally, the impact of metasurfaces in omniconnectivity development in future generation networks can only be answered by extensive performance analysis, link, and system level simulations. Many other questions related to communication/sensing functionalities integration, metasurfaces autonomy enabled by ad-hoc energy harvesting integrated modules, security and personal privacy control by material construction are all of interest to boost the concept of omniconnectivity in future generations networks.

Based on the current state of research, we believe that there are still a number of open issues remaining to be addressed before metasurfaces and RIS techniques can be applied in practical systems for global connectivity. This Research Topic Article Collection is intended to bring together academics, researchers, and engineers to share high-quality research in metasurfaces and reconfigurable surfaces and their applications to future wireless communications. In addition, the Research Topic will allow researchers to identify new opportunities for research and collaboration.

It is envisioned that this smart metasurface technology, and the related concept of omniconnectivity, will put humans and their interactions at the center of the future digital society. Thus, the goal of this Research Topic is to attract research works that provide innovative ways for using metasurfaces to enable seamless and ubiquitous communication in a fully secured and personal sphere, and creating new opportunities for future generation networks.

Based on the current state of research, we evince that there are still a number of open issues remaining to be addressed before metasurfaces and RIS techniques can be applied in practical systems for global connectivity. This Research Topic Article Collection is intended to bring together academics, researchers, and engineers to share high-quality research in metasurfaces and reconfigurable surfaces and their applications to future wireless communications. In addition, the Research Topic will allow researchers to identify new opportunities for research and collaboration.

The themes of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Joint active and passive beamforming in multi-metasurface multi-user scenario
• Metasurface-based devices and applications;
• Metasurafce-assisted wireless terrestrial and aerial communications;
• Metasurface optimization for localization, sensing, and tracking;
• Metasurafce empowered simultaneous localization and communication;
• Energetically self-sufficient metasaurface-aided networks;
• Physical layer security for metasusrface-aided networks;
• Signal processing in metasurface-aided networks communications and networks;
• Low-complexity channel estimation in metasurface-aided networks;
• Combinations of metasurface-assisted communications and other techniques (MIMO, NOMA, relay, Full-Duplex, …);
• Full-duplex metasurface-assisted communications;
• New architectures and communication protocols for metasuraface-aided networks;
• Metasurface-aided networks and testbeds;
• Applications of machine learning to metasurface-aided networks;
• Other emerging topics related to metasurface-aided communications and networks.

Extended versions of papers published in conferences, symposiums, or workshop proceedings are encouraged for considerations. We also highly recommend the submission of multimedia with each original research article as it significantly increases the visibility, downloads, and citations of articles.


Keywords: Metasurfaces, Metamaterial, Reconfigurable surfaces, Omniconnectivity, 6G


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2021 Abstract
25 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2021 Abstract
25 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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