Nanoantenna Invisibility Cloak Makes 3D Objects Disappear

Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley have developed an ultra-thin invisibility skin cloak that can conform to the shape of an object and conceal it from detection with visible light. Although this cloak is only microscopic in size, the principles behind the technology should enable it to be scaled-up to conceal macroscopic items as well. Working with brick-like blocks of gold nanoantennas, the Berkeley researchers fashioned a skin cloak barely 80 nanometers in thickness, that was wrapped around a three-dimensional object about the size of a few biological cells and arbitrarily shaped with multiple bumps and dents. The surface of the skin cloak was meta-engineered to reroute reflected light waves so that the object was rendered invisible to optical detection when the cloak is activated. This short video clip shows how the activation of a metasurface cloak made from an ultrathin layer of nanoantennas can render a 3D object invisible. When the cloak is turned on, the bump-shaped object being illuminated in the center white spot disappears from view.