New Silver Metamaterial Will Speed Up Computers

Posted: Dec 29 2015, 1:40pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
New Silver Metamaterial Will Speed Up Computers
This is an example of a metasurface, which can create negative refraction. Source Image: Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
  • New Metamaterial to lead to the Fastest of Computers

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A novel metamaterial will lead to the fastest of computers.

There is a new form of metamaterial that will speed up the functionality of computers. This is the latest of acts of science that has the scientists in a tizzy.

In Russia, a group of scientists from two institutes have began work on a two dimensional metamaterial that will be composed of silver basics. These refract light in an unusual way.

Compact optical contraptions may be built from this metamaterial. An invisibility cloak is the chief result of such a series of physics concepts put to the test.

This team of scientists belonged to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in the Russian Academy of Sciences. Their research has been published on Nov. 18, 2015 in Optical Material Express.

Computer models have shown that this metamaterial will be high on the performativity level. Light with a wavelength of 400-500 nm will be impinging on this special surface.

Some of the light will get scattered in the designated direction and this depends upon efficiency. 70% will be refraction and 80% will be reflection in accordance with the level of efficiency.

And while on a theoretical level the efficiency could actually be 100%, this is impossible in practicality. In real metals there is a loss of energy due to ohm resistance.

What is a metamaterial? It is a substance that has artificial properties due to an artificial periodic structure on a molecular basis. The prefix “meta” shows that it lies beyond what we see in nature.

Thus it is strictly unnatural. These metamaterials have a negative refractive index. When light impinges on this metamaterial, the refraction equals the incidence of light on its surface.

This effect is best seen when a rod is immersed in water. The break in the image is due to this phenomenon known as refraction. A pretty good idea of a negative refractive index was showcased at the beginning of the 20th century.

In 1976, a Soviet physicist published a report on the matter in a journal. The unusual refractive properties of metamaterials is thus not exactly a new phenomenon.

As for the term metamaterial, it was invented in 1999. The first such metamaterials were invented from thin wires. They worked best with microwave radiation.

Volumetric metamaterials don’t count here. 2D metamaterials work better with the photons of light. Diffraction plays an important role here. The array consists of a diffraction lattice. And the splitting of the light is where the nitty gritty stuff takes place.

The researchers in Moscow are doing their best to achieve what is close to a miracle. To control optical signals is a complex field. A thousand different variables are involved. And it takes the heroics of science to even get close to an invisibility cloak.

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