Metamaterials are materials that derive unusual mechanical, electromagnetic, or acoustic properties from a carefully controlled microstructure or nanostructure. Proof-of-concept demonstrations such as “superlenses” that can produce images with resolutions much smaller than the wavelength of light used, or “invisibility cloaks” that redirect electromagnetic radiation completely around an object, suggest high long-term disruptive potential, particularly in communications, electronics, and defense. However, practical implementation of these technologies depends on developing cost-effective manufacturing methods that allow fine patterning. This report assesses the current state of metamaterial research and commercial progress, identifies leading developers, and highlights near-, medium-, and long-term opportunities. In addition, the report forecasts future metamaterials adoption based on patent activity and commercial milestones to date.
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