Using Metamaterials to Extend Wireless-Power RangeCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: January 14, 2014 12:36PM
Many people have many reasons for disliking cables, such as having to remember where they are, untangle messes of them, and how ugly bunches of them can look. For those reasons, some companies have developed systems to wirelessly charge our devices, but these systems are limited in range. Researchers at Duke University however have successfully extended the range of wireless power with metamaterials and a change of method.
Metamaterials are materials with special properties that are impossible to find in Nature, such as negative indices of refraction for light. They are not limited to working with optics though and the researchers have built a super lens capable of focusing magnetic fields. Typically a magnetic field will drop in energy very quickly as you move away from the source, so three inches away from a one inch electromagnet you will only pick up a thousandth of the original energy. With the lens though, the field can generate a noticeable electrical current a foot away, which would be much more practical for everyday use.
Along with using the superlens, the researchers are also using magnetic instead of electric fields. Less reacts to magnetic fields, which means you can generate much more powerful ones before creating harmful interference.
Source: Duke University