Boubacar Kante, a professor at the University of California-San Diego, and his colleagues conducted a test of first effective “dielectric metasurface cloak.” A dielectric metasurface cloak is a thin non-metal material that manipulates electromagnetic waves, including visible light and radio waves.
Professor Kante and his colleagues believe that this material will make it possible to cloak planes and make them undetectable to radar and the human eye.
According to Kante, he has been in contact with a Department of Defense project manager and he expects to be submitting a proposal this month.
Researchers demonstrated in 2006 that it was possible to cloak an object and make it invisible by absorbing or directing electromagnetic waves around an object. At the time, it only worked on microwaves and in two dimensions.
Since then, there have been advances that have helped lead Kante to a new material that consists of a layer of Teflon substrate with tiny ceramic cylinders embedded into it.
In his research, Kante cited the ultra-thin material and the use of ceramics as the two main breakthroughs.
Currently, scientists aren’t close to achieving true invisibility, but Kante believes that his technology is a big step toward the goal of achieving true invisibility.
When asked how soon they could start manufacturing the cloak, Kante said, “Basically, we are ready to make them right now.”
According to Kante, the ceramics needed to make the cloak are cheap and abundant. He added that there is no company that has the capability to produce vast quantities of this cloaking material now, but scaling up would not be difficult.
“There’s no fundamental roadblock,” Kante said. “It would be easy to manufacture.”
(CNN Video from 2012 describing an older version of this technology)