The study of optics has changed over the past 3000 years. We have developed beyond the early lens technologies of quartz and other types of glass materials and new materials are being engineered to enhance the properties of naturally occurring materials through metamaterials. Scattering and propagation of light through subwavelength scale structures can alter the bulk electromagnetic permittivity and permeability of the constituent materials incorporating these nanostructures. Such metamaterials can be modeled and designed to create desired electromagnetic responses such as having a refractive index less than unity. This is the focus of this research using nanoscale low-loss metallic and semiconductor materials. We investigate a new rigorous scattering model for sub-wavelength sized particles that provides a guide that allows bulk materials with reduced refractive index to be made. We show numerical and experimental results supporting this goal.Using nanoscale low loss semiconductor materials we investigate this scattering model for sub-wavelength sized particles. This approach could lead us to the "Holy Grail" in optical science which is a negative or near zero index material that operates at visible wavelengths.