Photorealistic ray tracing of free-space invisibility cloaks made of uniaxial dielectrics

Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.53). 12/2012; 20(27):28330-40. DOI: 10.1364/OE.20.028330
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The design rules of transformation optics generally lead to spatially inhomogeneous and anisotropic impedance-matched magneto-dielectric material distributions for, e.g., free-space invisibility cloaks. Recently, simplified anisotropic non-magnetic free-space cloaks made of a locally uniaxial dielectric material (calcite) have been realized experimentally. In a two-dimensional setting and for in-plane polarized light propagating in this plane, the cloaking performance can still be perfect for light rays. However, for general views in three dimensions, various imperfections are expected. In this paper, we study two different purely dielectric uniaxial cylindrical free-space cloaks. For one, the optic axis is along the radial direction, for the other one it is along the azimuthal direction. The azimuthal uniaxial cloak has not been suggested previously to the best of our knowledge. We visualize the cloaking performance of both by calculating photorealistic images rendered by ray tracing. Following and complementing our previous ray-tracing work, we use an equation of motion directly derived from Fermat's principle. The rendered images generally exhibit significant imperfections. This includes the obvious fact that cloaking does not work at all for horizontal or for ordinary linear polarization of light. Moreover, more subtle effects occur such as viewing-angle-dependent aberrations. However, we still find amazingly good cloaking performance for the purely dielectric azimuthal uniaxial cloak.

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    ABSTRACT: Carpet or ground-plane invisibility cloaks hide an object in reflection and inhibit transmission experiments by construction. This concept has significantly reduced the otherwise demanding material requirements and has hence enabled various experimental demonstrations. In contrast, free-space invisibility cloaks should work in both reflection and transmission. The fabrication of omnidirectional three-dimensional free-space cloaks still poses significant challenges. Recently, the idea of the carpet cloak has been carried over to experiments on unidirectional free-space invisibility cloaks that only work perfectly for one particular viewing direction and, depending on the design, also for one linear polarization of light only. Here, by using photorealistic ray tracing, we visualize the performance of four types of such unidirectional cloaks in three dimensions for different viewing directions and different polarizations of light, revealing virtues and limitations of these approaches in an intuitive manner.
    Optics Express 04/2013; 21(8):9457-72. DOI:10.1364/OE.21.009457 · 3.53 Impact Factor


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