Researchers from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in Cambridge, Mass., have proposed a way to enhance the efficiency of wireless power transfer systems by incorporating a lens made from a new class of artificial materials.
A superlens has a property call negative permeability. This means it can refocus a magnetic field from a source on one side of the lens to a receiving device on the other side. By running numerical calculations, the team determined that the addition of a superlens should increase system performance, even when a fraction of the energy was lost by passing through the lens.
When the researchers first began studying how a superlens might affect wireless energy transfer, they focused on lenses made from metamaterials that exhibited uniform properties in all directions. In their new study, accepted for publication in the American Institute of Physics’ Journal of Applied Physics, the team also considered materials with magnetic anisotropy, meaning the magnetic properties are directionally dependent. Their results suggest that strong magnetic anisotropy of the superlens can offer further improvements to the system, such as reduction of the lens thickness and width.