Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Digital Agenda: Commission-funded research brings invisibility one step closer

Abstract:
Harry Potter's 'invisibility cloak' has moved a step closer to reality thanks to European Commission funded nanotechnology research. Scientists from Germany, Greece, Turkey and the UK have succeeded in tailoring the flow of light using nanotechnology, opening the way not only to potential applications in lenses and optical circuitry but also to exotic three dimensional devices such as 'invisibility cloaks'. Although currently limited to cloaking objects of sub-millimetre size, the project has delivered a key proof-of-principle for engineering optical properties of materials in ways believed impossible until now. The project is part of the Commission's initiative to boost high-risk ICT research in future and emerging information technologies, an objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).

Digital Agenda: Commission-funded research brings invisibility one step closer

Brussels | Posted on November 23rd, 2010

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said: "I am amazed by the ingenuity of European researchers. This project has achieved in real life what we knew only from special effects in the cinema. Such cutting edge research is crucial to laying the foundations for new technologies essential for Europe's competitiveness."

Scientists in the PHOME project designed and created "photonic meta-materials" which influence the behaviour of light rays. The breakthrough is based on the principle of transformation optics which was pioneered by the team behind the project.

The "invisibility cloak" itself is made up of very small rods just a few hundred nanometres across that are arranged into a structure resembling a woodpile. The rods are carefully arranged so that they are able to partially bend light waves.

By changing the speed and direction in which light travels, the scientists can guide light waves around a micrometer-sized bump in such a way as to render it invisible in three dimensions, and at wavelengths of light close to those visible to humans. Work is underway to extend the effect into the visible range and the results are expected in January.

Until now, such "invisibility cloaks" have only worked in two dimensions. This meant that the concealed object was invisible when the observer attempted to look at it head on, but became visible when viewed from the side. This study is the first to result in the creation of a device that renders an object invisible in all three dimensions.

Future applications of this research could lie in the development of entirely new optical components, such as perfect lenses, light storage devices, and important components for lasers and optoelectronics such as modulators and isolators. While full-body invisibility cloaks remain beyond the reach of current science and technology, this research has proved an important principle that was until recently believed to be impossible.

Background

Research work on the PHOME project started in April 2008 and will end in 2011. The total cost of the project is €1.88 million of which the Commission contributes €1.43 million under the ICT research budget of the R&D Seventh Framework Programme 2007-2013.

The success of the future and emerging information technologies (FET-Open) programme in developing cutting-edge European research has led the Commission to propose doubling the funding available for FET research by 2015 (MEMO/10/140 and IP/09/608).

FET-Open is continuously open to conceptually new, high-potential research proposals with a long-term vision. Researchers from three European academic institutions, the Foundation for Research & Technology, Greece; the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; and Imperial College London, UK work for the PHOME projects. Bilkent University in Turkey is a partner in the project thanks to its research association agreement with the EU.

Read more about the project: esperia.iesl.forth.gr/~ppm/PHOME/

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © European Commission

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

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials February 14th, 2017

Possible Futures

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Research opens door to smaller, cheaper, more agile communications tech February 16th, 2017

Academic/Education

Oxford Nanoimaging report on how the Nanoimager, a desktop microscope delivering single molecule, super-resolution performance, is being applied at the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology & Infection November 22nd, 2016

The University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria uses Deben tensile stages as an integral part of their computed tomography research and testing facility October 18th, 2016

Enterprise In Space Partners with Sketchfab and 3D Hubs for NewSpace Education October 13th, 2016

New Agricultural Research Center Debuts at UCF October 12th, 2016

Announcements

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Research opens door to smaller, cheaper, more agile communications tech February 16th, 2017

1,000 times more efficient nano-LED opens door to faster microchips February 5th, 2017

NUS engineers develop low-cost, flexible terahertz radiation source for fast, non-invasive screening: Novel invention presents promising applications in spectroscopy, safety surveillance, cancer diagnosis, imaging and communication February 1st, 2017

Research partnerships

Graphene foam gets big and tough: Rice University's nanotube-reinforced material can be shaped, is highly conductive February 13th, 2017

Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Scientists Use New ‘Blood Biopsies’ With Experimental Device to Speed Cancer Diagnosis and Predict Disease Spread: Leading-Edge Research Is Part of National Cancer Moonshot Initiative February 13th, 2017

Highly sensitive gas sensors for volatile organic compound detection February 6th, 2017

UCLA physicists map the atomic structure of an alloy: Researchers measured the coordinates of more than 23,000 atoms in a technologically important material February 3rd, 2017

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