Navigation Links
Discovery opens door to low-cost 'negative refraction,' new products and industries
Date:2/23/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a way to make a low-cost material that might accomplish negative refraction of light and other radiation a goal first theorized in 1861 by a giant of science, Scottish physicist James Maxwell, that has still eluded wide practical use.

Other materials can do this but they are based on costly, complex crystalline materials. A low-cost way that yields the same result will have extraordinary possibilities, experts say ranging from a "super lens" to energy harvesting, machine vision or "stealth" coatings for seeming invisibility.

Entire new products and industries could be possible. The findings have just been published and a patent has been applied for on the technology.

The new approach uses ultra-thin, ultra-smooth, all-amorphous laminates, essentially a layered glass that has no crystal structure. It is, the researchers say, a "very high-tech sandwich."

The goal is to make radiation bend opposite to the way it does when passing through any naturally occurring material. This is possible in theory, as Maxwell penciled out during the American Civil War. In reality, it's been pretty difficult to do.

"To accomplish the task of negative refraction, these metamaterials have to be absolutely perfect, just flawless," said Bill Cowell, a doctoral candidate in the OSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. "Everyone thought the only way to do that was with perfectly crystalline materials, which are quite expensive to produce and aren't very practical for large-area commercial application.

"We now know these materials may not need to be that exotic."

The new study has explained how easy-to-produce laminate materials, created with technology similar to that used to produce a flat panel television, should work for this purpose. The findings outline the component materials and the theoretical behavior of the laminates, Cowell said. They were just published in Physica Status Solidi A, in work supported by the National Science Foundation.

"We haven't yet used this approach to achieve negative refraction, but the findings suggest it should work for that," he said. "That will be one goal of continuing research. No one had thought of using amorphous metals for this purpose. They didn't think it could be that simple."

Negative refraction, Cowell said, is a brilliant idea. It is based on the equations developed by the young physicist and mathematician Maxwell more than 150 years ago work for which he is revered, along with Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, as one of the greatest physicists who ever lived. Einstein kept a photograph of Maxwell on his office wall.

But for generations, theory is about all that it was. Just in the past decade have researchers finally figured out how to create materials of any type that can achieve negative refraction. A way to accomplish that at low cost for the commercial marketplace could be of considerable importance, scientists say.

One application of particular interest is a "super lens," a device that might provide light magnification at levels that dwarf any existing technology. Many applications are possible in electronics manufacturing, lithography, biomedicine, insulating coatings, heat transfer, space applications, and perhaps new approaches to optical computing and energy harvesting.

The discovery of amorphous metamaterials is an outgrowth of recent findings at OSU about ways to create a metal-insulator-metal, or MIM diode, also of commercial significance. The OSU research is one of the latest advances in "dispersion engineering," or the control of electromagnetic radiation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bill Cowell
cowellb@onid.orst.edu
541-758-2895
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Affitech and Omeros Enter Into Antibody Discovery and Development Agreement
2. Concentric Named Professional Agency of Record for Discovery Labs SURFAXIN(R)
3. ChanTest to Highlight the Worlds Largest Catalog of Ion Channel-Expressing Cell Lines and Discovery Services at Ion Channel Targets, Booth 5
4. Biotechnology & Drug Discovery Markets Push Up Demand for Lab Automation Products, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts
5. Assay Designs(TM), Inc. and the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation Announce Collaboration To Accelerate the Discovery of New Therapeutics for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
6. ChanTest to Highlight the Worlds Largest Catalog of Ion Channel-Expressing Cell Lines and Discovery Services at Assays & Cellular Targets Conference, Booth 11
7. Affitech Announces Second Milestone in Roche Antibody Discovery Collaboration
8. The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative Begins Work on New Compounds to Fill Early-Stage TB Drug Pipeline
9. Update: The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative Begins Work on New Compounds to Fill Early-Stage TB Drug Pipeline
10. deCODE Discovery Sheds Light on Risk of the Most Common Form of Skin Cancer
11. Global Drug Discovery Technologies Market to Exceed $57 Billion by 2012, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... is proud to announce it has become the premiere team-building cooking event company in San ... world, such as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ranked #1 in its category on ... to its new team building format, a way for teams to not only interact with ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... MENLO PARK, Calif., March 23, 2017  BioPharmX ... developing products for the dermatology market, today reported ... Jan. 31, 2017, and will provide an update ... from the year. "We are pleased ... productive year for BioPharmX," said President Anja Krammer. ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... million in Series A financing and note conversion to ... products. Cool Planet is focused on developing products that ... raised nearly $30 million in the last 18 months. ... Coppel and North Bridge Venture Partners. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)...  Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical ... address significant unmet medical needs in rare diseases, ... ended December 31, 2016. "2016 ... we broadened our pipeline and pursued our vision ... with an initial focus on endocrinology," said ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 24, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a leader of iris-based ... iris biometric solution on the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ ... Mobile World Congress 2017 (February 27 – ... Hall 3, Stand 3E10. The ... security platform—a combination of hardware, software and ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and PORTLAND, Ore. ... IBM ) and the Avamere Family of Companies (Avamere ... Care) today announced a six-month research study that will ... caregivers improve eldercare at senior living and health centers. ... facilities, Avamere hopes to gain insights into physical and ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Genos, a community for personal ... has received Laboratory Accreditation from the College of ... to laboratories that meet stringent requirements around quality, ... processes. "Genos is committed to maintaining ... We,re honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," said ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):