UT Austin develops ultra thin invisibility cloak

Extreme Tech:
Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin have created a new, ultra-thin (0.15mm) Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak.

Until now, most invisibility cloaks have been large, cumbersome, desk-mounted constructions that really stretch the definition of the word cloak; for the most part, they’re more like proof of concepts for the invisibility material being tested, rather than actual invisibility cloaks. The University of Texas invisibility cloak, however, at just 166 micrometers thick, really is a cloak in the Harry Potter sense of the word.


The researchers created their invisibility cloak, dubbed a “metascreen,” out of a 66µm-thick sheet of copper that’s attached to a 100µm-thick sheet of flexible polycarbonate. This cloak is then attached to the object — in this case an 18cm (7in) cylinder — so that the cloak perfectly conforms to the object’s shape. The copper is patterned so that the scattered light from the cloak and the cloaked object cancel each other out. The end result is a cloak that hides the object from microwaves emitted from any direction, which might not sound all that impressive until you realize that most radar installations use microwaves.

In theory, the Texan metascreen could also be used to cloak visible light — after all, visible light, microwaves, and infrared are all physically identical; they’re just waves that oscillate at different frequencies....

The military applications could be significant.  Think daytime stealth fighters or drones, as well as special ops gear that makes it easier to evade enemy recognition.


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