We investigate the effects of hydrodynamic nonlocal response in hyperbolic metamaterials (HMMs), focusing on the experimentally realizable parameter regime where unit cells are much smaller than an optical wavelength but much larger than the wavelengths of the longitudinal pressure waves of the free-electron plasma in the metal constituents. We derive the nonlocal corrections to the effective material parameters analytically, and illustrate the noticeable nonlocal effects on the dispersion curves numerically. As an application, we find that the focusing characteristics of a HMM lens in the local-response approximation and in the hydrodynamic Drude model can differ considerably. In particular, the optimal frequency for imaging in the nonlocal theory is blueshifted with respect to that in the local theory. Thus, to detect whether nonlocal response is at work in a hyperbolic metamaterial, we propose to measure the near-field distribution of a hyperbolic metamaterial lens.
Optics Express, 2013, Vol 21, Issue 12, p. 15026-15036