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£4.9 million to develop metamaterials for 'invisibility cloaks' and 'perfect lenses'
Date:11/14/2009

hat we'll be exploring with our colleagues at Southampton, thanks to this new grant from The Leverhulme Trust," he explained.

The Leverhulme Trust's grant will provide funding for Imperial College London to recruit three top researchers, including a new Leverhulme Professor to join their world-class teams in physics, materials science and optoelectronics. The University of Southampton will be provided funding to recruit two Leverhulme Advanced Fellows. There will also be opportunities for 10 PhD research students and many postdoctoral researchers to join the group at Imperial College London.

Metamaterials have a carefully designed internal structure that interacts with light and other electromagnetic waves in unique ways, producing effects not seen in nature. For example, scientists can design them so that they control the movement and direction of all kinds of radiation - from visible light to microwaves and terahertz radiation. Being able to control radiation using materials in this way is a relatively new scientific development and opens up a realm of potential applications in diverse fields including medicine, security, imaging, telecommunications and data processing.

In the case of a true cloaking device, the aim is to design a metamaterial cloak that 'grabs' light as it approaches and forces it to flow smoothly around the cloak instead of striking it, in the same way that water in a river flows round a stick, rendering the object concealed beneath it invisible to the human eye.

In imaging, metamaterials could be used to build a 'perfect lens' microscope that would enable scientists to look at objects smaller than the wavelength of light being used - something that has never been achieved using an off-the-shelf optical microscope before.

One of the other areas in which metamaterials could have a big impact is in security technology. The airport scanners of the future could use 'T-ray' radiation to detect ve
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Contact: Danielle Reeves
danielle.reeves@imperial.ac.uk
44-207-594-2198
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

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