Subwavelength-scale metal and dielectric nanostructures have served as important building blocks for electromagnetic metamaterials, providing unprecedented opportunities for manipulating the optical response of the matter. Recently, hyperbolic metamaterials have been drawing particular interest because of their unusual optical properties and functionalities, such as negative refraction and hyperlensing of light. Here, as a promising application of a hyperbolic metamaterial at visible frequency, we propose an invisible nanotube that consists of metal and dielectric alternating thin layers. The theoretical study of the light scattering of the layered nanotube reveals that almost-zero scattering can be achieved at a specific wavelength when the transverse-electric- or transverse-magnetic-polarized light is incident to the nanotube. In addition, the layered nanotube can be described as a radial-anisotropic hyperbolic metamaterial nanotube. The low scattering occurs when the effective permittivity of the hyperbolic nanotube in the angular direction is near zero, and thus the invisibility of the layered nanotube can be efficiently obtained by analyzing the equivalent hyperbolic nanotube. Our new method to design and tune an invisible nanostructure represents a significant step toward the practical implementation of unique nanophotonic devices such as invisible photodetectors and low-scattering near-field optical microscopes.
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