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Optical cloaking with metamaterials


Artificially structured metamaterials have enabled unprecedented flexibility in manipulating electromagnetic waves and producing new functionalities, including the cloak of invisibility based on coordinate transformation1,2,3. Unlike other cloaking approaches4,5,6, which are typically limited to subwavelength objects, the transformation method allows the design of cloaking devices that render a macroscopic object invisible. In addition, the design is not sensitive to the object that is being cloaked. The first experimental demonstration of such a cloak at microwave frequencies was recently reported7. We note, however, that that design7 cannot be implemented for an optical cloak, which is certainly of particular interest because optical frequencies are where the word ‘invisibility’ is conventionally defined. Here we present the design of a non-magnetic cloak operating at optical frequencies. The principle and structure of the proposed cylindrical cloak are analysed, and the general recipe for the implementation of such a device is provided.

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Figure 1: Coordinate transformation and structure of the non-magnetic optical cloak.
Figure 2: Material parameters ɛr, ɛθ and μz of the proposed cloak operating at λ = 632.8 nm.
Figure 3: Unit cell for full-wave FE simulations of effective parameters.
Figure 4: FE simulations of the magnetic-field mapping around the cloaked object with TM illumination at λ = 632.8 nm.


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This work was supported in part by ARO-MURI award 50342-PH-MUR.

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Correspondence to Vladimir M. Shalaev.

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Cai, W., Chettiar, U., Kildishev, A. et al. Optical cloaking with metamaterials. Nature Photon 1, 224–227 (2007).

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