Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > The Harry Potter effect: Cornell researchers experiment with making objects 'invisible'

Provided/Nanophotonics Group
Scanning electron microscope images of the cloaking device. Top: Light passes through silicon posts as it bounces off a deformed reflector. Varying density of the silicon posts bends light to compensate for the distortion in the reflector. Bottom: a close-up of the array of silicon posts, each about 50 billionths of a meter in diameter.
Provided/Nanophotonics Group
Scanning electron microscope images of the cloaking device. Top: Light passes through silicon posts as it bounces off a deformed reflector. Varying density of the silicon posts bends light to compensate for the distortion in the reflector. Bottom: a close-up of the array of silicon posts, each about 50 billionths of a meter in diameter.

Abstract:
Somewhat the way Harry Potter can cover himself with a cloak and become invisible, Cornell researchers have developed a device that can make it seem that a bump in a carpet -- or, indeed, any flat surface -- isn't there.

The Harry Potter effect: Cornell researchers experiment with making objects 'invisible'

Ithaca, NY | Posted on May 12th, 2009

So far the illusion works only at the nanoscale, but the researchers suggest that the basic principle might eventually be scaled up for military and communications applications, or perhaps used in reverse to concentrate solar energy.

Devices that bend microwaves around small objects have previously been demonstrated, but this is the first cloaking device to work at optical frequencies, the researchers said.

The experimental device was built by Michal Lipson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and colleagues in her Nanophotonics Research Group, based on a design by British physicists. It bends light bouncing off a reflective surface in a way that corrects for the distortion caused by a bump in the surface. Imagine controlling the light in front of a funhouse mirror so that reflections look perfectly normal, and the mirror looks flat.

A similar device that works at one particular wavelength of infrared light has been reported by University of California-Berkeley researchers, but the Cornell device is expected to work over a range of wavelengths from infrared into visible red light, the researchers said.

On a silicon wafer, Lipson's group made a tiny reflector about 30 microns (millionths of a meter) long with a 5-micron-wide bump in the middle, then placed an array of vertical silicon posts, each 50 nanometers (billionths of a meter) in diameter, in front of it. Because the posts are much smaller than the wavelength of the light, the light behaves as if it were passing through a solid whose density varies with the density of the posts. As light passes between regions of high and low density it is refracted, or bent, in the same way light is refracted as it passes from air to glass. By designing smooth transitions of the density of posts, the researchers could control the path of the light to compensate for the distortion caused by the bump.

As a result, an observer looking at light reflected from the mirror sees a flat mirror, with no sign of the bump.

Of course it's still a long way to cloaking tanks on a battlefield. For starters, the thing being hidden has to hide behind a mirror, and the presence of a mirror would be a giveaway. A practical cloaking device also would have to adjust in real time to changing configurations of the object behind it.

A variation of the method might be used to bend light around an object, the researchers suggested, and a light-bending device could be made much larger by using technology that stamps or molds nanoscale patterns onto a surface.

Such refraction control might also be used in reverse, they added, to concentrate light in a small area to efficiently collect solar energy.

"At the core is the fact that we're manipulating light, telling it where to go and how to behave," said Carl Poitras, a research associate on the Cornell team.

The device was manufactured at the Cornell Nanoscale Facility, which is supported by the National Science Foundation.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
(607) 254-8093

Cornell Chronicle:
Bill Steele
(607) 255-7164

Copyright © Cornell University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires: A novel electrode for optoelectronics August 1st, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company, HZO, Announces Partnerships with Dell and Motorola August 1st, 2015

Advances and Applications in Biosensing, Sensor Power, and Sensor R&D to be Covered at Sensors Global Summit August 1st, 2015

Kalam: versatility personified August 1st, 2015

Discoveries

Gold-diamond nanodevice for hyperlocalised cancer therapy: Gold nanorods can be used as remote controlled nanoheaters delivering the right amount of thermal treatment to cancer cells, thanks to diamond nanocrystals used as temperature sensors August 1st, 2015

Shaping the hilly landscapes of a semi-conductor nanoworld August 1st, 2015

Solid state physics: Quantum matter stuck in unrest August 1st, 2015

Self-assembling, biomimetic membranes may aid water filtration August 1st, 2015

Announcements

Self-assembling, biomimetic membranes may aid water filtration August 1st, 2015

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires: A novel electrode for optoelectronics August 1st, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company, HZO, Announces Partnerships with Dell and Motorola August 1st, 2015

Advances and Applications in Biosensing, Sensor Power, and Sensor R&D to be Covered at Sensors Global Summit August 1st, 2015

Military

Self-assembling, biomimetic membranes may aid water filtration August 1st, 2015

Take a trip through the brain July 30th, 2015

Sol-gel capacitor dielectric offers record-high energy storage July 30th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Energy

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires: A novel electrode for optoelectronics August 1st, 2015

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

Controlling Dynamic Behavior of Carbon Nanosheets in Structures Made Possible July 30th, 2015

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics July 31st, 2015

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine and ENATRANS European Consortium Launch the 2nd edition of the Nanomedicine Award: The Award to be presented at BIO-Europe conference in Munich, November 2015 July 30th, 2015

Publication on Atomic Force Microscopy based nanoscale IR Spectroscopy (AFM-IR) persists as a 2015 top downloaded paper July 29th, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires: A novel electrode for optoelectronics August 1st, 2015

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Rice University finding could lead to cheap, efficient metal-based solar cells: Plasmonics study suggests how to maximize production of 'hot electrons' July 22nd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project