Tag Archives: light

New metamaterial first to bend light in the visible spectrum

from PopSci:

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have engineered a metamaterial with a refined 3-D structure that gives light a negative refraction index upon entering the material.

Put another way, it bends light the opposite way one might expect, irrespective of the angle or polarization of incoming light waves. Put yet another way: We’re getting closer to that invisibility cloak we’ve been looking for.

OLED wallpaper coming in 2012

from DVICE:

OLED lighting is tremendously efficient, 2.5 times more so than energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs. That means a wallpaper panel like this can operate at an astonishing 150 lumens per watt, requiring just 3 to 5 Volts to power the OLED film that can function as anything from light-emitting wallpaper to a road sign.

This is all made possible by a breakthrough from British company called LOMOX, saying it’s solved the main drawback of OLED lighting up until now: longevity. The company claims its OLED lighting will last longer than a compact fluorescent bulb. Better yet, it emits more lifelike light. The future looks bright.

Researchers create 3D invisibility cloak


Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology report they were able to cloak a tiny bump in a layer of gold, preventing its detection at nearly visible infrared frequencies.

(for illustrative purposes only – no one yet invisibly stalking you)

The cloak is a structure of crystals with air spaces in between, sort of like a woodpile, that bends light, hiding the bump in the gold later beneath, the researchers reported in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Science.

Light-activated on/off switch for DNA nanomachines

from rsc.org:

A light-activated switch to turn nanomachines on and off has been developed by Japanese researchers. The team showed how tiny tweezers made with DNA could be triggered to open and close in response to UV and visible light. The clever mechanism is hoped to find useful roles in designing future nano-robots.

‘We are designing DNA nano-robotics that are mechanically operated by light rather than chemical fuel,’ says Hiroyuki Asanuma, who led the research at Nagoya University, Japan. ‘In other words, we are creating “environment-friendly” nano-robotics.’

Wi-Fi at the speed of light

from MIT’s Technology Review:

A wireless network that uses reflected infrared light instead of radio waves has transmitted data through the air at a speed of one gigabit per second–six to 14 times faster than the fastest Wi-Fi network.

Such optical networks could provide faster, more secure communications and would be especially suitable for use in hospitals, aircraft, and factories, where radio-frequency transmission can interfere with navigation equipment, medical devices, or control systems.