Metamaterials are a topic of much research interest because they have such extraordinary properties. Such materials are generally difficult and expensive to make and to characterize, and thus beyond the reach of undergraduate classes. This paper describes a metamaterial hyperlens, fabricated in about an hour from materials costing about one dollar, which permits an experimental demonstration of propagation without diffraction using common undergraduate laboratory microwave equipment.
Note that while the term “hyperlens” is widely used to describe this type of hyperbolic metamaterial, it differs from other lenses not only in its sub-diffraction capability, but also in that the object and image planes are on the input and output surfaces, rather than in free space at some distance away. In this sense it is more like an endoscope than a lens. A tapered hyperlens can expand up a sub-diffraction scaled object (Refs. 6 and 7), which can then subsequently be imaged with a regular lens permitting a conventional far-field image of a sub-diffraction object.