IT will be present in the Tech@Portugal 2019, an event organized by the Agência Nacional de Inovação (ANI) with the aim of showcasing the country´s innovative potential in just one day. The event will be held on July 4th, from 9:30h, at the Centro de Congressos da Alfândega do Porto.
At the IT stand there will be some demonstrators of the technology developed in the institute, such as BITalino, a versatile and cost-effective biosignals acquisition system, a photonic processor for application in the new generation of communication satellites, and more.
From Interface Centers, Clusters, Laboratories and companies, there will be almost 200 entities present in the event. The projects and success stories that resulted from collaborations established between several entities within the national innovation system will be displayed in two different areas. One dedicated to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT´s), Production Technologies and Industry 4.0, and the other dedicated to Mobility, Circular Economy and Life Sciences projects.
In MMSUPER, a project funded and developed in IT, a team of researchers studied objects which, when illuminated, receive more energy than what is incident on their surface. The goal was to build and test the first prototype of an enhanced absorber of microwave radiation based on this principle. Besides demonstrating the main effect, the researcher´s motivation was to identify how such superabsorbers could be used for energy harvesting at microwaves.
“This study followed our discovery that the artificial materials with simultaneously negative permittivity and permeability – the so-called double-negative metamaterials – could be used to create superior thermal radiation emitters and absorbers, which we called “metamaterial thermal black holes”. Because realizing such objects in three dimensions was out of reach for us, in the MMSUPER project we used an equivalent two-dimensional topology inspired by the “wormholes”: hypothetical channels which connect separate three-dimensional worlds through the fourth dimension.”, explained Stanislav Maslovski, the project coordinator.
In this experiment, the incident waves propagate in a dense mesh of transmission lines resembling free space. The entry to the wormhole resides in this domain, and the exit opens into another mesh. The latter is a double-negative metamaterial that cancels all propagation effects – such as diffraction or retardation – which occur in the first mesh. Under this condition, arbitrary incident waves fall into the wormhole, which thus acts as a superabsorber. Illustrations for these phenomena can be found in a Phys. Rev. B paper that was selected for December’s issue of “PRB Kaleidoscope”.
“Note that observing such effects poses a great challenge, due to the narrow bandwidth and high losses of real metamaterials. While the bandwidth problem can be tackled by tuning metamaterials dynamically with a control signal (e.g. light), the inevitable losses affect performance. Nevertheless, in this project, for the first time, the superabsorption has been demonstrated experimentally. The result shows that the wormhole casts a shadow with a size greater than the wormhole’s diameter, which confirms the superabsorption effect. These results pave the way for realizing superior receivers of microwave radiation for applications in electromagnetic energy harvesting and wireless power transfer”, concludes Stanislav Maslovski.
Figure: Metamaterial wormhole superabsorber under test.