Invisibility Cloak Made of Ultra-thin Material

By Gemma Tarlach | March 26, 2013 10:43 am

The experimental setup. Courtesy Andrea Alu.

They won’t be on shelves in time for Christmas, but we’re a step closer to functional, flexible cloaks of invisibility.

Researchers have developed an ultrathin “metascreen” that hides three-dimensional objects from microwaves in their natural environment, in all directions, according to a study published Monday in the New Journal of Physics.

Neat-o.

The new cloaking material is composed of strips of 66-micrometer-thick copper tape attached to a 100-micrometer-thick flexible polycarbonate film. To the naked eye, that’s roughly the same thickness as a human hair. Researchers describe the material as having a “fishnet design,” though we’re guessing utility, not fashion, was their top priority.

Under normal circumstances, objects are detected when they bounce waves off their surface, whether they’re light waves, microwaves or other waves. Previous cloaking research used bulkier materials to divert or bend incoming waves around the object, which often limited the size and shape of an object that could be hidden.

The new metascreen, however, cancels out waves as they scatter off the object—a new and potentially more useful method known as “mantle cloaking.”

In the study, the material was successfully used to cloak an 18 cm long cylindrical rod. Researchers believe the metascreen’s flexibility will make it possible to cloak items in a much greater variety of shapes and sizes than with other cloaking methods.

The team’s next goal will be to use a form of mantle cloaking to hide an object from visible light.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: cloaking
  • Callum MacKendrick

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • Buddy199

      I’ll believe it when I don’t see it.

      • PrasadRao

        Needs to be said :(
        I will believe it when i see that i dont see it .. I guess

        • Christopher

          Well… we ain’t going to see it anyway. Though if you would have a Level 3 clearance, you would see crazier shit that this… That’s for sure!

  • Ernie Kracklemyer

    I will prove it works. I will walk naked into a mall on a busy weekend and not be noticed.

  • arnav sahu

    it could be useful for the armed forces to sneak into enemy camps stealthily its superb !!!

  • Christel Platt

    I watched something about this yesterday and it talked about how this material could be used on tanks and vehicles, etc. for war. No, not everything has to be about war, but Im sure them publishing how they made it and what it is has really helped other countries know what we are doing and keep tabs on us!

  • http://twitter.com/Amitochondrio J G

    As I was walking up the stair
    I saw a man who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    I wish to hell he’d go away

    author unknown

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