Fractal Antenna edges closer to invisibility curtain

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Fractal Antenna edges closer to invisibility curtain

A United States firm is claiming to have developed some foundations for a new field of applied optics that, when perfected, could lead to invisibility curtains, cloaks and ‘super’ lenses.

The company, called Fractal Antenna, said it had disclosed a ‘prescription’ for making what it called metamaterials work over wide bandwidths at the Nanometa 2009 conference held in Austria last week.

Metamaterials, it said, are close-packed grids of conducting ‘resonators’ that offer the unusual ability of bending light or other electromagnetic waves in the opposite direction of conventional lenses, together with ‘other odd properties’.

Previously, the properties of metamaterials have only worked over a narrow band, or small colour range, which made them impractical for real applications, according to researchers at the firm.

With the new approach, metamaterials will be able to be designed to work over a broad range of colours or frequencies, with little degradation of the sought out properties, it said.

Details on how the development works were scant – the conference doesn’t appear to have made the research papers presented last week public yet – but the firm’s approach is said to use the geometry of self-similar ‘fractals’ to shape the grid of resonators.

It also uses a fractal prescription to mesh and interlace the layers, the company said.

It has been speculated by the researchers that a new field of applied optics will result from the perfected application of the metamaterials, and this includes invisibility curtains, cloaks, and ‘super’ lenses, the company claimed

Fractal Antenna holds the basic patent to fractal resonators, and has filed a patent application for the wideband metamaterial approach as a whole.

It said it will release full information on results of a technology demonstrator ‘in the coming weeks’.

Fractal Antenna claims to design and manufacture antennas for the commercial, military and government sectors using patented technology based on fractal geometry.
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