Well, not yet. But the results from this research at ZheJiang University (Hangzhou) are very interesting.
A team led by Lu Lan at Zhejiang University in China have actually created the first invisibility cloak designed using topology optimisation. They carved it out of Teflon and it took them 15 minutes using a computer-controlled engraving machine.
The resulting “Teflon eyelid” invisibility cloak hides a cylindrical disc of metal the size of poker chip from microwaves. Its performance closely matches the prediction of the computer simulation.
That’s significant because it brings invisibility cloaks into the realms of mass production.
Lu and his team say there is no reason why the same approach can work in optical wavelengths. “Such a cloaking setup won’t be a big problem to replicate in the THz or even optical spectrum,” they say.
Of course, there are challenges ahead. Lu and his team want to develop the technique to create cloaks that work over a range of frequencies and at a range of angles. If they can make them cheaply and easily for a cost measured in pennies, there’s no reason why invisibility cloaks won’t soon be everyday objects.