Vanishing Act Creates a Stir in the Nanotech World
Sheets Made of Microscopic Carbon Fibers Seem to Disappear When Heated

Ali Aliev

Dr. Ali Aliev

Dr. Ali Aliev, a research scientist at UT Dallas, and his colleagues recently demonstrated that transparent carbon nanotube sheets, which can have the density of air and the specific strength of steel, can be used to make objects invisible.

This invisibility for light oblique to the nanotube sheets is caused by the mirage effect, in which a thermally generated refractive index gradient bends light array from a hidden object. The paper was published in a recent issue of the journal Nanotechnology.

The findings created a flurry of press coverage, including stories in CNN, ABC and Wired magazine.

Dr. Ray Baughman

Dr. Ray Baughman

The study was conducted by a research team of the University of Texas at Dallas, USA.

Aliev is a research scientist at Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute and adjunct professor at the Physics Department. He performed the experimental part of the work. Dr. Yuri N. Gartstein of the Physics Department performed supporting calculations. Dr. Ray H. Baughman (Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry and Director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute) contributed to the analysis of results and writing.

This research work was supported by Office of Naval Research, NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Robert A. Welch Foundation. More about authors can be found at the  NanoTech Institute website.

This underwater mirage effect is created by a carbon nanotube sheet. The carbon nanotube sheet disappears when it is resistively heated.



Illusion Captures Media Attention

The mirage effect findings have created a flurry of news coverage in print, on the air and online:

Nanotechnology Journal: Mirage effect from thermally modulated transparent carbon nanotube sheetsKDAF-TV News: UT Dallas Scientists Create an ‘Invisibility Cloak’ABC News: Harry Potter, Stand Back: Invisibility Effect Created in Texas LabWired Magazine: ‘Invisibility Cloak’ Uses Mirages to Make Objects Vanish

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].