More than doubling the performance of solar sails with diffractive metafilm sails

A Rochester Institute of Technology researcher could more than double the performance of solar sails by creating diffractive metafilm sails. This will initially be used to raise cubesats to higher orbits.

The new materials could be used to steer reflected or transmitted photons for near-Earth, interplanetary and interstellar space travel.

Diffractive metafilm sails could solve known limitations of reflective metallic sails like overheating, inefficient use of photons and excessive tilt of the spacecraft.