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Carbon Nanotubes in Form of Aerogel Enable Invisibility Cloak

The feature of invisibility is becoming one of the more attractive aspects of nanomaterials

1 min read

Invisibility is becoming one of the more attractive features of nanomaterials. As evidenced herehere, and here.

The last link on that list brings you to research in which researchers at the University of Texas used graphene to build on the phenomena known as “plasmonic cloaking” and “mantle cloaking.”

It seems the University of Texas is at again, this time at the UT in Dallas. But in this case the researchers are using carbon nanotubes to exploit the single-beam mirage effect, photothermal deflection, to create an invisibility capability.

The research, which was published in the Institute of physics journal Nanotechnology, basically used a sheet of carbon nanotubes in the form of an aerogel to create the "invisibility cloak."

In the past, when I have written about these developments, I didn't have a video to demonstrate the invisibility effect. In covering this story, however, I came across a video of what this invisibility looks like when it operates. 

Unfortunately, I saw that ABC News covered the story as well. The way the ABC reporter approached the story really depressed me. 

Apparently, the reporter felt that he could only relate the news by making reference to Harry Potter (It's hard to write about the experiment done at the University of Texas at Dallas without invoking Harry Potter), and that he was sorry to say he could only tell the story of the breakthrough by discussing nanotechnology (If you're not into nanotechnology, read on anyhow.).

Why must every story that comes from the mainstream press on science and technology be first related through some Hollywood movie or TV show? And is it really necessary to apologize for the fact that this technology involves...technology? 

The Conversation (0)

3D-Stacked CMOS Takes Moore’s Law to New Heights

When transistors can’t get any smaller, the only direction is up

10 min read
An image of stacked squares with yellow flat bars through them.
Emily Cooper
Green

Perhaps the most far-reaching technological achievement over the last 50 years has been the steady march toward ever smaller transistors, fitting them more tightly together, and reducing their power consumption. And yet, ever since the two of us started our careers at Intel more than 20 years ago, we’ve been hearing the alarms that the descent into the infinitesimal was about to end. Yet year after year, brilliant new innovations continue to propel the semiconductor industry further.

Along this journey, we engineers had to change the transistor’s architecture as we continued to scale down area and power consumption while boosting performance. The “planar” transistor designs that took us through the last half of the 20th century gave way to 3D fin-shaped devices by the first half of the 2010s. Now, these too have an end date in sight, with a new gate-all-around (GAA) structure rolling into production soon. But we have to look even further ahead because our ability to scale down even this new transistor architecture, which we call RibbonFET, has its limits.

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