Korean scientists step forward on creating ‘invisibility cloak’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 8, 2012 - 19:21
  • Updated : May 8, 2012 - 19:21
A Korean research team has made a further step toward inventing an “invisibility cloak,” by developing a way of producing artificial materials that deflect lights on a large-scale production

It is not the first time scientists have tried to manipulate light to create invisibility.

But the research team, led by Kang Tae-wook from Sogang University, claims that they have found an innovative way of producing metamaterials, man-made nano materials, to manipulate light and create a cloaking effect.

The new experiment entailed making symmetry-broken nano materials consisting of gold, and polystyrene.

Previous techniques have been limited to produce a small-scale production, but the new concept could be modified for practical use.

“This is a big step forward as by using our synthetic structure we can scale up the size of materials that can hide larger objects,” Kang told The Korea Herald.

The researcher had found a hint from Swiss fondue. Like dipping long pieces of bread into the cheese he dipped gold-and-polystyrene particles into gold again to create “symmetry-broken” nanoparticles which have a visibility-reducing effect.

He admitted that the feat is still far short of making an actual invisibility cloak, as the materials are still clearly visible to the human eye.

But the researcher believes by using his “fondue method,” they can help build a large ― scale invisible materials that can be also used for “stealth” warplane, he said.

“We can also use it small enough for human bodies for medical purpose,” Kang added, noting that his team was now working improving the invisibility of the metamaterials.

The study was published online on April 16 in Nano Letters, a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.

By Oh Kyu-wook (