Careful design of metamaterials has allowed scientists to build structures that can guide electromagnetic light waves around an object, forming an invisibility cloak. According to recent work at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, this concept may also be transferred to other types of waves, such as sound waves.
Managing light to carry computer data is possible today with laser light beams that are guided along a fiber-optic cable. These waves consist of countless billions of photons, which carry information down the fiber across continents. A research team at the University of Alberta wants to refine the optical transmission of information by using a single photon.
A new $13-million National Science Foundation center based at the University of Michigan will develop high-tech materials that manipulate light in new ways. The research could enable advances such as invisibility cloaks, nanoscale lasers, high-efficiency lighting, and quantum computers.
Scientists have tried this with sophisticated metamaterials, but at the Vienna University of Technology it has now been done with simple metals; materials with a negative refractive index bend light the "wrong" way.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.
Electrical engineers at Duke University have developed a material that allows them to manipulate light in much the same way that electronics manipulate flowing electrons. Their innovation relies on the use of a metamaterial, and the advance could help speed a transition from devices based on electrical components to those based on optical components.
Taking their cue from biological circulatory systems, University of Illinois researchers have developed vascularized structural composites, creating materials that are lightweight and strong with potential for self-healing, self-cooling, metamaterials, and more.
It’s like a slicker version of Ocean's Eleven. Invisibility cloaks made from metamaterials have been demonstrated before, but researchers in the UK have proposed a particularly unusual type that involves hiding whole events. By splitting light into "before" and "after" components, one of which is sped up and one slowed down, they say that a bank robbery could be completely hidden, or that two pieces of data could be transmitted simultaneously, without interruption.
Two Univ. of Pennsylvania engineers have proposed the possibility of two-dimensional metamaterials. These one-atom-thick metamaterials could be achieved by controlling the conductivity of sheets of graphene, which is a single layer of carbon atoms.
Like an opera singer hitting a note that shatters a glass, a signal at a particular resonant frequency can concentrate energy in a material and change its properties. And as with 18th century "musical glasses," adding a little water can change the critical pitch. Echoing both phenomena, researchers at NIST have demonstrated a unique fluid-tuned "metasurface," a concept that may be useful in biomedical sensors and microwave-assisted chemistry.
Electrical engineers at Duke Univ. have determined that unique man-made materials should theoretically make it possible to improve the power transfer to small devices, such as laptops or cell phones, or ultimately to larger ones, such as cars or elevators, without wires. This advance is made possible by the recent ability to fabricate metamaterials.
With a metamaterial cloak, researchers in Germany have achieved optical invisibility in a portion of the visible light spectrum corresponding to the red color. The cloak in question is small, less than a human hair in diameter, but it does make the curvature of a metal mirror appear flat, making the object underneath the mirror “disappear”.
Roger Hanlon, who has spent more than three decades studying the camouflage artistry of squid, octopus, and cuttlefish at the Marine Biological Laboratory, is joining forces with Rice University materials experts. They aim to use metamaterials and nanotechnology to emulate cephalopod camouflage.
A new class of plasmonic metamaterials may be potential building blocks for advanced optical technologies, including powerful microscopes and computers, improved solar cells, and a possible invisibility cloak.
Cheaper, lighter, and more energy-efficient broadband devices on communications satellites may be possible using metamaterials to modify horn antennas, according to engineers from Penn State and Lockheed Martin Corp.
A team of researchers in the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre has found a relatively simple, inexpensive system that can hide an object as big as a peppercorn from view in ordinary visible light.
Researchers are developing a new class of "plasmonic metamaterials" as potential building blocks for advanced optical technologies, including ultrapowerful microscopes and computers, improved solar cells, and a possible invisibility cloak.
In one Univ. of Illinois lab, invisibility is a matter of now you hear it, now you don’t. Illinois researchers have demonstrated an acoustic cloak, a technology that renders underwater objects invisible to sonar and other ultrasound waves.