Invisibility and Cloaking: Origins, Present, and Future Perspectives
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The development of metamaterials, i.e., artificially structured materials that interact with waves in unconventional ways, has revolutionized our ability to manipulate the propagation of electromagnetic waves and their interaction with matter. One of the most exciting applications of metamaterial science is related to the possibility of totally suppressing the scattering of an object using an invisibility cloak. Here, we review the available methods to make an object undetectable to electromagnetic waves, and we highlight the outstanding challenges that need to be addressed in order to obtain a fully functional coating capable of suppressing the total scattering of an object. Our outlook discusses how, while passive linear cloaks are fundamentally limited in terms of bandwidth of operation and overall scattering suppression, active and/or nonlinear cloaks hold the promise to overcome, at least partially, some of these limitations.