Metamaterials – New Forms Of Light Control

Metamaterials are engineered materials that allow us to go beyond the traditional interactions of waves and matter. Light waves that strike metamaterial coatings can be redirected, effectively preventing light from reaching our eyes. The technology enables us to create any pattern, color, or optical feature we can imagine. The “invisibility cloak” is the most visible example of this new material style. Light waves that strike a coating can be redirected, effectively preventing light from bouncing off the object.

A metamaterial cloak can reduce the number of radio waves that scatter off a cylinder, making it difficult to detect with radar. Metamaterial cloaks perform significantly better because they reroute incoming waves to eliminate scattering and shadowing, rendering the cloaked object undetectable.

Metamaterials can be manipulated to create new forms of light control and transformation. One example is an optical metamaterial that can efficiently rotate the polarization of light passing through it.

When compared to natural periodic crystals, metamaterials have a certain degree of broken spatial symmetry. Many technologies, including liquid-crystal displays, can benefit from this polarization control. It enables the creation of nanoscale images beyond conventional optical systems‘ resolution limits. It efficiently guides light beyond the diffraction limits.

Nanostructured metasurfaces have the potential to transform bulky optical setups into devices as thin as human hair. Acoustic and mechanical metamaterials can route and control sound with previously unheard-of precision.

Read more

Related Content: Solid-State LiDAR Uses Metasurface, Sees 360°