New Cloaking Technology

Researchers of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, US announced that they have created a new type of invisibility cloak which works for all colors of the visible spectrum. This new technology, based on a tapered optical waveguide, is simpler than previous designs and makes it possible to cloak objects of about 50 microns in diameter – roughly the width of a human hair. “All previous attempts at optical cloaking have involved very complicated nanofabrication of metamaterials containing many elements, which makes it very difficult to cloak large objects,” said Vladimir Shalaev, Purdue University’s Robert and Anne Burnett Professor of Electrical Engineering. “Here, we showed that if a waveguide is tapered properly it acts like a sophisticated nanostructured material.” Previous experiments with metamaterials have been limited to cloaking regions only a few times larger than the wavelengths of visible light. This findings could lead to advances in e.g. cloaking; powerful “hyperlenses” resulting in microscopes 10 times more powerful than today’s; computers and consumer electronics that use light instead of electronic signals to process information; advanced sensors; and more efficient solar collectors. Findings are detailed in a research paper appearing May, 29 in Physical Review Letters.
www.purdue.edu

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