Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Metascreen' forms ultra-thin invisibility cloak

Date:
March 25, 2013
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
Up until now, the invisibility cloaks put forward by scientists have been fairly bulky contraptions -- an obvious flaw for those interested in Harry Potter-style applications.

Researchers have now developed a cloak that is just micrometers thick and can hide three-dimensional objects from microwaves in their natural environment, in all directions and from all of the observers’ positions.
Credit: Image courtesy of Institute of Physics

Up until now, the invisibility cloaks put forward by scientists have been fairly bulky contraptions -- an obvious flaw for those interested in Harry Potter-style applications.

However, researchers from the US have now developed a cloak that is just micrometres thick and can hide three-dimensional objects from microwaves in their natural environment, in all directions and from all of the observers' positions.

Presenting their study today, 26 March, in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics, the researchers, from the University of Texas at Austin, have used a new, ultrathin layer called a "metascreen."

The metascreen cloak was made by attaching strips of 66 m-thick copper tape to a 100 m-thick, flexible polycarbonate film in a fishnet design. It was used to cloak an 18 cm cylindrical rod from microwaves and showed optimal functionality when the microwaves were at a frequency of 3.6 GHz and over a moderately broad bandwidth.

The researchers also predict that due to the inherent conformability of the metascreen and the robustness of the proposed cloaking technique, oddly shaped and asymmetrical objects can be cloaked with the same principles.

Objects are detected when waves -- whether they are sound, light, x-rays or microwaves -- rebound off its surface. The reason we see objects is because light rays bounce off their surface towards our eyes and our eyes are able to process the information.

Whilst previous cloaking studies have used metamaterials to divert, or bend, the incoming waves around an object, this new method, which the researchers dub "mantle cloaking," uses an ultrathin metallic metascreen to cancel out the waves as they are scattered off the cloaked object.

"When the scattered fields from the cloak and the object interfere, they cancel each other out and the overall effect is transparency and invisibility at all angles of observation," said co-author of the study Professor Andrea Alu.

"The advantages of the mantle cloaking over existing techniques are its conformability, ease of manufacturing and improved bandwidth. We have shown that you don't need a bulk metamaterial to cancel the scattering from an object -- a simple patterned surface that is conformal to the object may be sufficient and, in many regards, even better than a bulk metamaterial."

Last year, the same group of researchers were the first to successfully cloak a 3D object in another paper published in New Journal of Physics, using a method called "plasmonic cloaking," which used more bulky materials to cancel out the scattering of waves.

Moving forward, one of the key challenges for the researchers will be to use "mantle cloaking" to hide an object from visible light.

"In principle this technique could also be used to cloak light," continued Professor Alu.

"In fact, metascreens are easier to realize at visible frequencies than bulk metamaterials and this concept could put us closer to a practical realization. However, the size of the objects that can be efficiently cloaked with this method scales with the wavelength of operation, so when applied to optical frequencies we may be able to efficiently stop the scattering of micrometer-sized objects.

"Still, we have envisioned other exciting applications using the mantle cloak and visible light, such as realizing optical nanotags and nanoswitches, and noninvasive sensing devices, which may provide several benefits for biomedical and optical instrumentation."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J C Soric, P Y Chen, A Kerkhoff, D Rainwater, K Melin, A Al. Demonstration of an ultralow profile cloak for scattering suppression of a finite-length rod in free space. New Journal of Physics, 2013; 15 (3): 033037 DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/3/033037

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "'Metascreen' forms ultra-thin invisibility cloak." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325202552.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2013, March 25). 'Metascreen' forms ultra-thin invisibility cloak. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325202552.htm
Institute of Physics. "'Metascreen' forms ultra-thin invisibility cloak." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325202552.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Robotic Eyes' Helps Japan's Bipedal Bot Run Faster

'Robotic Eyes' Helps Japan's Bipedal Bot Run Faster

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 16, 2014) Japanese researcher uses an eye-sensor camera to enable a bipedal robot to balance itself, while running on a treadmill. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lockheed Martin's Fusion Concept Basically An Advertisement

Lockheed Martin's Fusion Concept Basically An Advertisement

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Lockheed Martin announced plans to develop the first-ever compact nuclear fusion reactor. But some experts said the excitement is a little premature. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) A Google Glass user was treated for Internet Addiction Disorder caused from overuse of the device. Morgan Manousos (@MorganManousos) has the details on how many hours he spent wearing the glasses, and what his symptoms were. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Science Proves Why Pizza Is So Delicious

Science Proves Why Pizza Is So Delicious

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) The American Chemical Society’s latest video about chemistry in every day life breaks down pizza, and explains exactly why it's so delicious. Gillian Pensavalle (@GillianWithaG) has the video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins