In a groundbreaking achievement, a research team led by Professor Chan Chi-hou from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has made a significant advancement in antenna technology. Through software control, the team has successfully developed a universal metasurface antenna that has the ability to manipulate all five fundamental properties of electromagnetic waves. This unprecedented feat allows for the independent and simultaneous manipulation of amplitude, phase, frequency, polarization, and direction of electromagnetic radiation. This discovery is considered the Holy Grail in the field of physics and engineering and holds remarkable potential for various applications in the realm of wireless communication systems, particularly in the development of 6G technology.

As research on 6G wireless communication systems progresses worldwide, the universal metasurface antenna presents itself as a revolutionary technology with immense potential. Its advanced capabilities in waveform manipulation and enhanced security features make it an indispensable component in integrating sensing and communications. The antenna’s wide range of potential applications includes next-generation high-security information systems, real-time imaging, and wireless power transfer. Moreover, its inherent direction modulation properties significantly enhance privacy and security, making it an ideal candidate for eavesdropper-proof communications.

Professor Wu Gengbo, a member of the research team, explains that the universal metasurface antenna can directly generate modulated waveforms in free space to manipulate information. This breakthrough offers the possibility of a simplified information transmitter with low cost, high integration, and low power consumption. The team envisions this antenna as a catalyst for the development of efficient and streamlined communication systems.

The paper, titled “A universal metasurface antenna to manipulate all fundamental characteristics of electromagnetic waves,” published in Nature Communications, showcases the collective effort of several accomplished researchers. Professor Wu Gengbo, from the Department of Electrical Engineering at CityU and a member of the State Key Laboratory of Terahertz and Millimeter Waves (SKLTMW), is the first author of the paper. Dr. Dai Junyan, a former postdoctoral fellow with SKLTMW, shares the co-first authorship. Academician Cui Tiejun and Professor Cheng Qiang, from Southeast University in Nanjing, China, along with Dr. Dai and Professor Chan, serve as corresponding authors. Additionally, Dr. Keeson Shum Kam-man and Dr. Chan Ka-fai, Senior Engineers with SKLTMW, have also contributed to this remarkable achievement.

Professor Chan emphasizes the importance of collaboration between CityU and Southeast University in achieving this groundbreaking advancement. The partnership between the two institutions provided the necessary expertise and resources to tackle complex research challenges. By bringing together diverse perspectives and knowledge, the joint effort facilitated the successful development of the universal metasurface antenna. This collaboration not only highlights the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation but also paves the way for exciting possibilities in the future.

The universal metasurface antenna represents a historic breakthrough in antenna technology. With its ability to manipulate all fundamental properties of electromagnetic waves, it opens up infinite possibilities in the field of wireless communication systems. As research on 6G technology progresses, the antenna’s waveform manipulation capabilities and enhanced security features will play a pivotal role in integrating sensing and communications. With its potential applications in high-security information systems, real-time imaging, and eavesdropper-proof communications, the universal metasurface antenna has the power to revolutionize the future of wireless communication as we know it. The collaboration between CityU and Southeast University serves as a testament to the importance of teamwork and multidisciplinary cooperation in achieving remarkable scientific advancements. As we embark on this new era of antenna technology, exciting opportunities for innovation and progress lie ahead.

Technology

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