The researchers fabricated a unique material, known as a metamaterial, that acts as a lens to image scenes using fewer components than conventional detectors. Because of the properties of this man-made material, much of the additional equipment needed for conventional detector systems – like lenses, mechanical positioners and data storage or transmissions devices – are not required.
The material itself is a thin laminate with row-upon-row of tiny squares etched onto copper, each one of which is tuned to a different frequency of light. The material is flexible and durable enough to be attached to a wall, wrapped around corners or even laid on the floor like a rug, making it an inexpensive alternative for a variety of sensing applications.
The new system works with microwave light and produces two-dimensional images. The researchers are currently exploring moving the technology to three-dimensional capability in real-world settings.
The Duke researchers reported their findings Jan. 18 on-line in the journal Science. The research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
"By taking advantage of the unique properties of these metamaterials, we were able to create a system capable of microwave imaging without lenses or any moving parts, " said John Hunt, a graduate student working in the laboratory of senior investigator David R. Smith, William Bevan Professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering.
As an example, Hunt said that in many security situations, imaging systems move a single sensor device with a small aperture in front of the body of the subject, creating an effectively larger aperture. The scanning waves travel through clothing, but skin or other objects reflect the waves. The new device can scan the entire field at once, which would allow for faster and more efficient screening, the researchers said.
"Using conventional systems such as airport security cameras or collision-detection devices, you have to wait for a scan to complete before you can see an image, while the new system can scan an entire range at once," Hunt said.
The metamaterial is made of thousands of tiny apertures that can detect a wide spectrum of frequencies, allowing it to obtain a more global image of the scene, the researchers said.
"Each individual element of the metamaterial is tuned to narrow frequency," said Tom Driscoll, a post-doctoral fellow from the University of California – San Diego currently working in the Smith lab. "Together the individual elements scan the entire range to capture information about a scene very quickly."
"This system allows us to collect and compress the image during collection, instead of later, averting the detector, storage and transmission costs associated with conventional imaging of a scene," Driscoll said.
Other Duke members of the team were Alex Mrozack, Guy Lipworth, Matthew Reynolds and David Brady.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model
19.04.2018 | Aalto University
This 2-D nanosheet expands like a Grow Monster
19.04.2018 | University at Buffalo
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.
Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy