"METAMATERIAL: Composites enable 'perfect' lens"
Composite metamaterials that exhibit a negative index of refraction are being harnessed to enable a variety of hitherto impossible applications, promising to reduce size and cost while simultaneously increasing accuracy and range. "Electrical engineers will be interested to know that our metamaterial technology is now being adapted to make microwave devices and antennas with unprecedented levels of performance and functionality," said University of Toronto professor George Eleftheriades, himself an EE. "Our latest results are very promising for both basestation and handheld hardware. . . . Now is the time for electrical engineers to really start creating a whole new range of useful devices for the cell phone industry." Metamaterials enable lenses without an optical axis, despite their planarity, to focus waves by means of refraction. Metamaterials substitute macroscopic objects for atoms in a giant, crystalline-like lattice. The Toronto team's lattice was constructed of perpendicular wires that defined a grid whose spacing was set to a subwavelength of the wavelength affected.