The innovation engine for new materials

Elan Frantz

Elan Frantz


University of California Santa Barbara


Mechanical Engineering

Site Abroad: 

Department of Materials, Oxford University


P. Grant
C. Johnston

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Chris Grovenor

Project Title: 

The quest for ultimate electromagnetics using spatial transformations (QUEST)

Project Description: 

A new revolution in exploiting electromagnetism (EM) is emerging; one that brings together two recent developments: spatial transformations and the design and fabrication of novel electromagnetic materials. The idea of spatial transformations (ST) is to provide entirely fresh solutions to the distribution of the spatial arrangement of materials so as to enable new ways to manipulate the emission, propagation and absorption of EM radiation. To make the required exotic materials in large quantities, modern fabrication techniques will be needed, including the use of nano-composites and graded-index coatings. The material palette can be further widened by the inclusion of active metamaterials and superconducting dielectric composites. As an example, there is an increasing demand for wireless communications anywhere and at any time. However, many environments such as offices and crowded shopping centres contain obstacles and scatterers that lead to signals being 'confused'. A resilient solution would be to modify the local EM environment so as to ensure quality reception at any given location by, for example, making certain obstacles or scatterers 'invisible'. Materials and devices based upon the concept of STs offer the exciting prospect of warping electromagnetic space so as to overcome problems due to obstacles and scatterers. Such applications are at the heart of the QUEST project. We will build and demonstrate several devices to demonstrate how spatially varying and anisotropic structured materials can aid in antenna cloaking.