UKMMN Metamaterial Picture Competition 2022

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Image credit: Stephen Henthorn

This is an antenna loaded with a reconfigurable metamaterial. A simple radio wave is fed into the antenna while the metamaterial is changed using a voltage signal. This alters the radio wave as it passes through the metamaterial, putting information onto it – a process called modulation. This means the whole structure acts as a radio transmitter, sending information through the air. It is an energy efficient alternative to conventional transmitters, which have to use complex and ineffecient circuits to amplify complex modulated signals, while this design modulates the signal on the already amplified radio wave. It could be used to make energy efficient mobile base stations and WiFi access points, helping us move towards net zero wireless networks.

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