Navigation Links
Hiding objects with a terahertz invisibility cloak

Researchers at Northwestern University have created a new kind of cloaking material that can render objects invisible in the terahertz range.

Though this design can't translate into an invisibility cloak for the visible spectrum, it could have implications in diagnostics, security, and communication.

The cloak, designed by Cheng Sun, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, uses microfabricated gradient-index materials to manipulate the reflection and refraction of light.

Sun's research was published Sept. 1 in Scientific Reports, a new online, open-source journal that provides rapid publication and high visibility of research for all areas of science.

Humans generally recognize objects through two features: their shape and color. To render an object invisible, one must be able to manipulate light so that it will neither scatter at an object's surface nor be absorbed or reflected by it (the process which gives objects color).

In order to manipulate light in the terahertz frequency, which lies between infrared and microwaves, Sun and his group developed metamaterials: materials that are designed at the atomic level. Sun's tiny, prism-shaped cloaking structure, less than 10 millimeters long, was created using a technique called electronic transfer microstereolithography, where researchers use a data projector to project an image on a liquid polymer, then use light to transform the liquid layer into a thin solid layer. Each of the prism's 220 layers has tiny holes that are much smaller than terahertz wavelengths, which means they can vary the refraction index of the light and render invisible anything located beneath a bump on the prism's bottom surface; the light then appears to be reflected by a flat surface.

Sun says the purpose of the cloak is not to hide items but to get a better understanding of how to design materials that can manipulate light propagation.

"This demonstrates that we have the freedom to design materials that can change the refraction index," Sun said. "By doing this we can manipulate light propagation much more effectively."

The terahertz range has been historically ignored because the frequency is too high for electronics. But many organic compounds have a resonant frequency at the terahertz level, which means they could potentially be identified using a terahertz scanner. Sun's research into terahertz optics could have implications in biomedical research (safer detection of certain kinds of cancers) and security (using terahertz scanners at airports).

Next Sun hopes to use what he's learned through the cloak to create its opposite: a terahertz lens. He has no immediate plans to extend his invisibility cloak to visible frequencies.

"That is still far away," he said. "We're focusing on one frequency range, and such a cloak would have to work across the entire spectrum."

Contact: Megan Fellman
Northwestern University

Related biology technology :

1. Pepsi Urged to Follow Example of Coca-Cola and Stop Hiding Corporate Donations
2. Small optical force can budge nanoscale objects
3. NJIT physicist sees terahertz imaging as ultimate defense against terrorism
4. Sandia Labs reports first monolithic terahertz solid-state transceiver
5. A revolutionary breakthrough in terahertz remote sensing
6. A revolutionary breakthrough in terahertz remote sensing
7. Researchers create terahertz invisibility cloak
8. Tsunami invisibility cloak, dark energy v. the void, sorting nanotubes with light, and more
9. £4.9 million to develop metamaterials for invisibility cloaks and perfect lenses
10. New findings promising for transformation optics, cloaking
11. Space-time cloak to conceal events revealed in new study
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE ... has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in ... operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could ... change" as defined in Section 382 of the Code. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... affirms that its business and prospects remain fundamentally ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation ... to completion following review of the final interim ... Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific ... contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of ... in lower margins but higher volume share for ... capacity and scale, however, margins in the CRO ... Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), finds ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... to maintain healthy metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is ... of Health (NIH), researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) ("PBI" and ... of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based sample preparation ... it has received gross proceeds of $745,000 from an ... "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised to date in ... are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has entered ... MIT and Harvard for use of its ArxLab ... management tools. The partnership will support the institute,s ... and chemical research information internally and with external ... used for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... 10, 2015  In this report, the ... of product, type, application, disease indication, and ... report are consumables, services, software. The type ... biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. The ... diagnostics development, drug discovery and development, personalized ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):