Postdoctoral fellow Zhi Hao said: “Previous attempts at cloaking using a single metasurface layer were restricted to very small sized objects. Also the act of cloaking would prevent an enclosed antenna or sensor from communicating with the otuside world.
So a group of scientists in the electrical engineering faculty at Penn say it’s developed a thin metamaterial coating that lets objects to function normally even though they don’t seem what they are.
The so called “illusing coatings” use a thin flexible substrate with copper patterns. When a device is probed by a radio frequency (RF) source, the scattered signature seems to be a dielectric material like silicon.
How does it work? The researchers take the object and surround it with either air or foam and then apply the ultrathin layer of dielectric with copper patterns designed for wavelengths they wish to cloak.
The practical benefits of the research could improve the way RF ID tags work or redistribute energy make things more rather than less visible.