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Scientists use metal and silicon to create invisibility cloak (no, you can't wear it)

Sarah Silbert
05.22.12
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In the quest to achieve that much-desired invisibility cloak, scientists have redirected light, used heat monitoring and even gone underwater -- with varying degrees of success. The latest attempt at this optical illusion is from engineers at Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, who have developed a device that can detect light without being seen itself. When the ratio of metal to silicon is just right, the light reflected from the two materials is completely canceled out. The process, called plasmonic cloaking, controls the flow of light to create optical and electronic functions while leaving nothing for the eye to see. Scientists envision this tech being used in cameras -- plasmonic cloaking could reduce blur by minimizing the cross-talk between pixels. Other applications include solar cells, sensors and solid-state lighting -- human usage is conspicuously absent on that list.

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