Flexible Parylene Metamaterials



Terahertz radiation is useful for a variety of applications. For example, because of its ability to penetrate most clothing, terahertz radiation provides a way to detect concealed weapons. Because of its ability to detect differences in water content and density of tissue, terahertz radiation can be used to reliably distinguish between normal cells and cancerous cells.


Electromagnetic metamaterials for supporting propagation of a particular wavelength consist of composites having metallic structures consisting of large number of unit cells each having dimensions an order smaller than the wavelength to be propagated. The joint interaction of these metallic structures in their surrounding medium results in a wave propagation medium that can have selected values of permittivity and/or permeability. Different values of permittivity/permeability can provide a diverse array of electromagnetic response such as filtering, focusing, negative reflection or refraction, lenses, cloaking and radiation.




This invention features a manufacture for supporting and altering propagation of terahertz and far-infrared electromagnetic waves. Such a manufacture includes a stack of layers made of a conformal protective polymer coating material (including parylene); and an array of metamaterial unit cells patterned on each of the layers. Each such metamaterial unit cell includes a metallic structure.


Because of its biocompatibility, a metamaterial made of parylene thin films is particularly suitable for medical applications. Because of their ability to interact with terahertz radiation, and because of the use of terahertz radiation in detecting skin cancer, diagnostic detectors that rely on parylene-based metamaterials can safely be implanted in a human.

Licensing Contact

Chiara Vannucci