Artificially engineered materials—metamaterials—typically alter only one heat or electromagnetic parameter at once. Researchers test a metamaterial that behaves simultaneously like a thermal concentrator and an electrical invisibility cloak.
See article: Independent Manipulation of Heat and Electrical Current via Bifunctional Metamaterials by
Massimo Moccia, Giuseppe Castaldi, Salvatore Savo, Yuki Sato, and Vincenzo Galdi
Phys. Rev. X 4, 021025 (2014) – Published 12 May 2014
Abstract: Spatial tailoring of the material constitutive properties is a well-known strategy to mold the local flow of given observables in different physical domains. Coordinate-transformation-based methods (e.g., transformation optics) offer a powerful and systematic approach to design anisotropic, spatially inhomogeneous artificial materials (metamaterials) capable of precisely manipulating wave-based (electromagnetic, acoustic, elastic) as well as diffusion-based (heat) phenomena in a desired fashion. However, as versatile as these approaches have been, most designs have thus far been limited to serving single-target functionalities in a given physical domain. Here, we present a step towards a “transformation multiphysics” framework that allows independent and simultaneous manipulation of multiple physical phenomena. As a proof of principle of this new scheme, we design and synthesize (in terms of realistic material constituents) a metamaterial shell that simultaneously behaves as a thermal concentrator and an electrical “invisibility cloak.” Our numerical results open up intriguing possibilities in the largely unexplored phase space of multifunctional metadevices, with a wide variety of potential applications to electrical, magnetic, acoustic, and thermal scenarios.