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A flexible coating with liquid metal that absorbs radio waves

Создано гибкое покрытие с элементами из жидкого металла, поглощающее радиоволны

Engineers from the University of Iowa (Iowa State University) developed a new type of flexible and elastic coating, which contains many small elements, made them of liquid metal alloy, which with high efficiency absorbs radio waves of a certain range and hides the objects from the “watchful eyes” of radar.

The name of this coverage, “metanoia” is derived from the term metamaterials, which are artificial materials with properties not possessed by any of materials of natural origin. The elements of the new metamaterial allows him to affect the propagation of radio waves, and lets you stretch or shrink elastic cover allows you to change the frequency at which the coating shows a maximum absorption efficiency.

“We believe that this technology will find application not only in stealth technologies. Using this approach it will be possible to create elements of radio devices, which can control the propagation of radio signals, focusing, dissipating them and to suppress undesired signals” – wrote the researchers.

The key point of a new surface is an ordered lattice of ring resonators enclosed by layers of elastic silicone. Elements of these resonators are composed of galinstan (galinstan), a metal alloy, which is liquid at room temperature and which is less toxic than other liquid metals such as mercury. The resonators are small rings with an outer radius of 2.5 mm and a thickness of about half a millimeter. They have a millimeter gap, providing a curved portion by the liquid-metal conductor.

The rings represent the coil inductance, and the gaps – electrical capacitors. Together these two elements constitute a resonant circuit that absorbs at maximum efficiency radio waves whose frequency coincides with the resonant frequency of the circuit. Stretching of the material leads to the change of the geometrical sizes of elements of the oscillating circuit, which in turn changes its resonant frequency.

Tests have shown that the level of suppression of the radar signal, such a coating is 75 percent in band 8 to 10 GHz. When a concealed object is wrapped in a coating made of such leather, the suppression is performed in all directions and for all angles of incidence of radio waves on the surface of the object.

“Technology “metacore” radically different from other stealth technologies work by reducing the effective reflective area. The new coating simply reduces the amount of energy of radio waves reflected by the object back to the radar”.

“Our continued objective is to reduce the size of elements resonant circuits and cover,” the researchers wrote, – “in Addition, downsizing would mean moving the zone of effective coverage in the higher frequency region and we hope to get into the range of visible and infrared light.

This might be possible through the use of the latest achievements in the field of nanoindustry and if we can do it all, we receive the cloak of darkness, working not only at radio frequencies but also at optical wavelengths, too.”

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