Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel have achieved what they call a breakthrough in manipulating light to render an object, such as an optical chip, invisible. A study published recently in Nature Scientific Reports describes how the researchers conceived a new method that deflects and scatters light away from a cloaking chip surface so it is not detected.
Reportedly, an operational cloaking chip can be an extension of the basic technologies such as radar-absorbing dark paint used on stealth aircraft, local optical camouflage, surface cooling to minimize electromagnetic infrared emissions, or electromagnetic wave scattering. According to Dr. Alina Karabchevsky, head of BGU’s Light-on-a-Chip Group and a member of the BGU Unit of Electro-Optical Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, “These results open the door to new integrated photonic devices, harnessing electromagnetic fields of light at nanoscale for a variety of applications from on-chip optical devices to all-optical processing. We showed that it is possible to bend the light around an object located on the cloak on an optical chip. The light does not interact with the object, thus resulting in the object’s invisibility.”
However, the research team is not cracking open the champagne just yet. The next hurdle is to develop a prototype. How long will that take? For more details, checkout the Nature Scientific Reports and visit Ben-Gurion University.