Invisible antennas

Telecom Asia Staff
09 Feb 2009

In the ongoing quest to turn science fiction into reality, researchers from China and the US have developed a material that bends light to make objects invisible. And while the objective is to create a cloaking device, the same technology could be used to improve mobile communications signals.

The material in question - a metamaterial made from more than 10,000 individual pieces of fiberglass material arranged on a circuit board - can bend electromagnetic waves (such as light) around an object, making it appear invisible, according to a study published in Science magazine by researchers from Duke University and Southeast University in Nanjing, China.

While Duke researcher David Smith says that actually making stuff invisible is a long way off, one important finding is that the same effect can apply elsewhere in the electromagnetic spectrum - to include wireless frequencies.

For example, Smith told Reuters, 'You might have two or more antennas trying to 'see' or receive signals, one being blocked by the other. You could imagine adding cloaks that would make one antenna invisible to the next, so that they no longer interfered.'

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