Figure showing how the metamaterial, with cross-chaped openings, can deflect a terahertz beam’s angle. Credit: University of California, Los Angeles
by Matthew Chin
A research team led by UCLA electrical engineers has developed an artificial composite material to control of higher-frequency electromagnetic waves, such as those in the terahertz and far-infrared frequencies.
The material, specifically a metamaterial because it is has properties not found in nature, could be transformative for imaging, sensing and communication applications. It could be used for quality control in pharmaceutical production lines, scanning pills at high speeds to look for any defects; to spot cancerous tumors at early stages using tomography; or for forming adaptive high data-rate communication channels.