Fractal Antenna Systems has been issued a patent for a fundamentally new approach to power gathering and transport, as well as heat transfer, with the innovation of metamaterials based on fractal geometry. They were issued US patent 9,482,474, entitled “Radiative Transfer and Power Control with Fractal Metamaterial and Plasmonics”.
Fractal metamaterials are collections of detached resonators, themselves intricate structures made from repeated and scaled designs. Each fractal resonator lies close to another, collecting and transferring its energy along with adjacent ones, without actual physical connection. The process happens at the speed of light and is a man-made form of ‘radiative transfer’. Fractals afford highly efficient and tighter packing that uniquely achieves the effect, with multiple band and broadband performance.
The new patent broadly claims fractal metamaterials and details uses for power and heating/cooling.
Fractal metamaterial may be used to collect, move, and control energy, for example, and can be physically flexible. Moreover fractal metamaterial can be widely tuned to best work at a desired spectrum, and the resonators can be arranged to magnify, via collection, the power gain, with no physical connections. It provides collection and control benefits without wires or lenses, for example.
Much has been reported in recent years about the across-the-board value of fractal metamaterials, especially from China, where research is booming. Recently an example of this technology was prominently featured in the magazine Nature. Even though Fractal's patent was not mentioned here, Nathan Cohen, inventor and the firm’s CEO, is still happy with independent research confirmations, since this adds credibility to a new applied science field unwittingly grow in the shadow of our firm’s long established invention. Now there is incontrovertible recognition of the source-invention itself with the issuance of patent ‘474.
Cohen is no novice to innovation. A Ph.D. astrophysicist and retired university professor, Cohen holds dozens of imaging and related patents and is the inventor of fractal antennas, the invisibility cloak, and deflector shield, among others. His broad background has provided unique insight into energy and related processes, leveraging into practical applications.
Fractal metamaterials are ideal for energy harvesting and wireless charging and are likely to be a key enabler in the next generation of solar energy collection. In addition, the patent discloses the ability of fractal metamaterials to dissipate surplus energy away from a hotspot. This allows new forms of lightweight heat sinks, shielding, heat pumps, and refrigerators, with many commercial and defense uses. The CEO believes a new era of power collection and transport, cooling, and heating technologies will emerge in the next few years from the invention, in addition to imaging related and other uses.