Meta-skin takes us one step closer to cloaking

Last year I saw some great talks at Phononics 2015, which covered research in the exciting area of metamaterials.  A new breakthrough by engineers Associate Professor Liang Dong and Professor Jiming Song at Iowa State University sees the development of ‘meta-skin’. A flexible and more importantly, tunable device that could make objects undetectable to radar.

Small liquid-metal ring resonators are embedded between sheets of silicone to create electric inductors, while the space between them act as electric capacitors. Together they trap and suppress radar waves at a set frequency. As the meta-skin is stretched, the size of the rings alter and the frequency the device can suppress changes, making it’s properties tunable.

One day these meta-skins could be used to coat the surface of stealth aircraft – but this may be a little while off yet. The researchers hope to continue their work towards this goal by reducing the size of the device and extending the frequency of the waves it can cloak to the visible and infra-red range. Their full paper is published in Scientific Reports.

Read more on Metamaterials
Subwavelength slit acoustic metamaterial barrier
Acoustic metamaterials capable of both sound insulation and energy harvesting
Tunable broadband terahertz wave plate based on one-dimensional superconductor–dielectric photonic crystals

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Original source credited to Iowa State news service.

Thumbnail image by (Glenn research contact) (NASA Glenn Research) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Categories: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, JPhys+

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