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Home > News > Tunable, Stretchable Optical Materials

October 8th, 2010

Tunable, Stretchable Optical Materials

Abstract:
The field of metamaterials has yielded devices that seem to come from science fiction--invisibility cloaks, highly absorbent coatings for solar cells and ultra-high-resolution microscope lenses. Metamaterials are precisely tailored to manipulate electromagnetic waves--including visible light, microwaves, and other parts of the spectrum--in ways that no natural materials can.

With few exceptions, however, these materials work in a very limited range of wavelengths of light, making them impractical--an invisibility cloak isn't very useful if it only redirects light of one color but can be readily seen under others. Now researchers at Caltech have shown that by mechanically stretching an optical filter made from a metamaterial, they can dynamically change which wavelength of infrared light it responds to.

Source:
technologyreview.com

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