Texas Now Has The Thinnest Invisibility Cloak

Cloaking devices i.e.; the invisibility cloaks are recently a topic of key focus for scientists. With recent developments like the ‘inaudibility cloaks’ and the previous ‘invisibility cloaks’, man’s hiding capabilities have been greatly increased. Though both the cloaks are yet to be commercialized, still we may say that we have got some basic concepts correct and most importantly we now have the Aladdin’s lamp or simply the metamaterials.

Researchers from University of Texas, Austin have developed a thinnest possible invisibility cloak till date. A research team led by prof. Andrea Alù, Dept. of Electrical and Computer engineering has put forward a concept of Mantle cloaking which revolves around using simple impedance surface to have an invisibility effect. Scientists have used Graphene as a material for making this cloak. Alù and his team members have proposed a material which can be tuned to a microwave frequency for which the material can adjust its surface impedance.

Development path for the recent invisibility cloak

Graphene is a promising material in today’s research area. Scientists from all over the world are trying to study as to how Graphene responds when subjected to AC. They are also trying to notice changes, if any, in conductivity of the material subjected to AC. In context of these researches, University of Texas team have observed that Graphene has the required surface impedance owing to its properties like easily tuned Fermi level and its ultra high mobility. So, the cloak can be tuned at will which also means that you can switch the cloak as per your need. The concept can also be applied in the Terahertz spectrum and leads to a thinnest possible cloak till date.

The concept and more importantly the ‘tunable’ properties of Graphene, will be well utilized in development of numerous other applications like non invasive sensors, low scattering electronic sensors and other IR switching devices which can be incorporated in monolithic photonic circuitry. The group had also presented a concept earlier in 2005 about Plasmonic cloaking. This idea is based on preventing the scattering from any passive object.

According to Alù, “The field of metamaterials, plasmonics and advanced materials, on which we are active since several years, holds the promise of revolutionizing current technology”. It seems he is correct in saying that because, there are still greater chances of compatibility of current technology with existing electronic components making them really advanced and upgrade them to changing times.

Source: Nanowerk


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