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shielding and scattering suppression,” the engineers wrote in their paper, published in the journal Scientifi c Reports. Liang Dong, associate professor; and Jiming Song, profes-


sor, were hoping to prove that electromagnetic waves – perhaps even the shorter wavelengths of visible light – can be sup- pressed with fl exible, tunable liquid-metal technologies. What they came up with are rows of split ring resonators embedded inside layers of silicone sheets. The electric resonators are fi lled with galinstan, a metal alloy that’s liquid at room temperature and less toxic than other liquid metals such as mercury.


Those resonators are small rings with an outer radius of 2.5 millimeters and a thickness of half a millimeter. They have a 1 millimeter gap, essentially creating a small, curved segment of liquid wire. The rings create electric inductors and the gaps create electric capacitors. Together they create a resonator that can trap and suppress radar waves at a certain frequency. Stretching the meta-skin changes the size of the liquid metal rings inside and changes the frequency the devices suppress. Tests showed radar suppression was about 75% in


This fl exible, stretchable and tunable “meta-skin” can trap radar waves and cloak objects from detection.


the frequency range of 8 to 10 gigahertz, according to the paper. When objects are wrapped in the meta-skin, the radar waves are suppressed in all incident directions and observation angles. “Therefore, this meta-skin technology is different from traditional stealth technologies that often only reduce the backscattering, i.e., the power refl ected back to a probing radar,” the engineers wrote in their paper. The idea is that this meta-skin could one day coat the next generation of stealth aircraft.


Photo courtesy of Iowa State University


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