Skip to comments.Lasers Creates New Forms of Metal and Enhances Aircraft Performance
Posted on 02/09/2010 12:19:31 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Dr. Chunlei Guo and his team of Air Force Research Laboratory-funded researchers from the University of Rochester are using laser light technology that will help the military create new forms of metal that may guide, attract, and repel liquids and cool small electronic devices. The researchers discovered a way to transform a shiny piece of metal into one that is pitch black, not by paint, but by using incredibly intense bursts of laser light.
Dr. Guo and his team have been working on creating technology that may enable the Air Force to create an additional kind of metal. The black metal they created absorbs all radiation that shines upon it. With the creation of the black metal, the researchers opened up a whole new horizon for various applications in creating an entirely new class of material.
The key to creating this super-filament is an ultrabrief, ultraintense beam of light called a femtosecond laser pulse. The laser burst lasts only a few quadrillionths of a second. That intense blast forces the surface of the metal to form nanostructures and microstructures that dramatically alter how efficiently light can radiate from the filament.
In addition to increasing the brightness of a bulb, Dr. Guo's process can be used to tune the color of the light as well. His team used a similar process to change the color of nearly any metal to blue, gold, or gray, in addition to the black already noted.
They controlled the size and shape of the nanostructures--and, thus, what colors of light those structures absorb and radiate--to change the amount of each wavelength of light the filament radiates.
The unique nanostructures, which are created from the laser, affect the way liquid molecules interact with metal molecules.
(Excerpt) Read more at spacewar.com ...
OMG, radar, radio, visible light, everything? It would be bizarre to look at such a thing. In broad daylight, you'd only see a black profile of the plane, like a shadow. But you could not see any detail on the surface if nothing bounced back to your eye. You couldn't see it at night flying overhead at all unless it blocked out the moon or a rich field of stars, then as in daytime, you'd only see the outline. True stealth capability, at all wavelenghts, as close to true invisibility as you can get.
...and Chunlai is congratulated by his Beijing friends for his most excellent work.
Hopefully, someone is keeping a close eye on this guy.
I suspect the big problem with the technology for the Air Force will be a LACK of "slickness".
Any metal surface with all these tendrils sticking out of it probably has a vastly higher drag coefficient to the movement of air over it.
I may be a bit wrong here, but I believe that a very slick surface is lees aero or hydro dynamic than a ‘rogher’ one. Case in point, a golf ball. It is dimpled for a reason. It makes a ‘turbulence’ that allows the ball to have less resistance and fly further. Something to do with laminar flow over a surface.