A prism of engineered material — metamaterial comprised of an arrangement of nano-coils of precious metals such as gold or silver — embedded in a solid glass-like material. The prism structure has a negative refractive index, which makes it truly transparent to light, allowing it to pass freely through with no reflection.
This site was mentioned on the Wired Magazine defense blog I helped to decode the meaning of
"exploiting the optical plasmon phenomenology characteristics of nanoscale structures."from a DARPA project about transparent displays.
Wavelengths of light interact with nanoscale patterns that are made to create new effects that alter the wavelengths to enable super-microscopes or invisibility.
It refers to using transparent metamaterials to alter light to create displays. Most metamaterials that have been used to this point have been made of metal and some have been semiconductors
Concentric rings of plastic on gold allow an optical microscope to resolve objects too small to otherwise be seen (Image: Science/Maryland University)
Metamaterials can shape visible light and other wavelenths (sound, microwaves etc..). Metamaterials have tended to be metals with particular patterns. The wavelengths interact with the patterns and can be guided by them to make things invisible or to give wavelengths negative indexes of diffraction (enabling superlenses for better microscopes).
Metamaterials can also be made out of non-metals but to effect visible light would need to have nanoscale dimensions (nanoscale structures part).
Plasmons are what are interact[s] with the metamaterial to create the effect.
Plasmons :The quanta of waves produced by collective effects of large numbers of electrons in matter when the electrons are disturbed from equilibrium. Metals provide the best evidence of plasmons, because they have a high density of electrons free to move.
It sounds like Darpa wants to make big transparent metamaterial displays for windshields of planes or vehicles. Plus the material could react to light and block out lasers that were trying to blind or damage the occupants or react to a radiation flash from a nuclear device.
Contact lens and displays in glasses
Contact lens display