Carbon nanotube sheets create invisibility

November 14, 2011

Dr. Ali Aliev, a research scientist at UT Dallas, and colleagues have demonstrated that transparent carbon nanotube sheets can be used to make objects invisible.

This invisibility for light oblique to the nanotube sheets is caused by the mirage effect (photothermal deflection), in which a thermally generated refractive index gradient bends light array from a hidden object.

“The remarkable performance of nanotube sheets suggests possible applications as photo-deflectors and for switchable invisibility cloaks, and provides useful insights into their use as thermoacoustic projectors and sonar,” the authors say.

The research work was supported by Office of Naval Research, NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Robert A. Welch Foundation.

Ref.: Ali E Aliev et al, Mirage effect from thermally modulated transparent carbon nanotube sheets, 2011 Nanotechnology 22 435704 doi:10.1088/0957-4484/22/43/435704