Metamaterials are composed of nanostructures, called artificial atoms, which can give metamaterials extraordinary properties that cannot be found in natural materials. The nanostructures themselves and their arrangements determine the metamaterials’ properties. However, a conventional metamaterial has fixed properties in general, which limit their use. Thus, real-world applications of metamaterials require the development of tunability. This paper reviews studies that realized tunable and reconfigurable metamaterials that are categorized by the mechanisms that cause the change: inducing temperature changes, illuminating light, inducing mechanical deformation, and applying electromagnetic fields. We then provide the advantages and disadvantages of each mechanism and explain the results or effects of tuning. We also introduce studies that overcome the disadvantages or strengthen the advantages of each classified tunable metamaterial.
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