"The advantages of the mantle cloaking over existing techniques are its conformability, ease of manufacturing and improved bandwidth. We have shown that you don't need a bulk metamaterial to cancel the scattering from an object a simple patterned surface that is conformal to the object may be sufficient and, in many regards, even better than a bulk metamaterial."
Last year, the same group of researchers were the first to successfully cloak a 3D object in another paper published in New Journal of Physics, using a method called "plasmonic cloaking", which used more bulky materials to cancel out the scattering of waves.
Moving forward, one of the key challenges for the researchers will be to use "mantle cloaking" to hide an object from visible light.
"In principle this technique could also be used to cloak light," continued Professor Alu.
"In fact, metascreens are easier to realize at visible frequencies than bulk metamaterials and this concept could put us closer to a practical realization. However, the size of the objects that can be efficiently cloaked with this method scales with the wavelength of operation, so when applied to optical frequencies we may be able to efficiently stop the scattering of micrometer-sized objects.
"Still, we have envisioned other exciting applications using the mantle cloak and visible light, such as realizing optical nanotags and nanoswitches, and noninvasive sensing devices, which may provide several benefits for biomedical and optical instrumentation."
|Contact: Michael Bishop|
Institute of Physics