A full-parameter unidirectional metamaterial cloak for microwaves

Nat Mater. 2013 Jan;12(1):25-8. doi: 10.1038/nmat3476. Epub 2012 Nov 11.


Invisibility is a notion that has long captivated the popular imagination. However, in 2006, invisibility became a practical matter for the scientific community as well, with the suggestion that artificially structured metamaterials could enable a new electromagnetic design paradigm, now termed transformation optics. Since the advent of transformation optics and subsequent initial demonstration of the microwave cloak, the field has grown rapidly. However, the complexity of the transformation optics material prescription has continually forced researchers to make simplifying approximations to achieve even a subset of the desired functionality. These approximations place profound limitations on the performance of transformation optics devices in general, and cloaks especially. Here, we design and experimentally characterize a two-dimensional, unidirectional cloak that makes no approximations to the underlying transformation optics formulation, yet is capable of reducing the scattering of an object ten wavelengths in size. We demonstrate that this approximation-free design regains the performance characteristics promised by transformation optics.