Possible Optics revolution promised by Flat lens

Written by Archie Robinson

The flat lens that is made of white paint on the sliver glass can revolutionise optics, as per the inventors. Only 2mm across with finer human hair, tiny device will magnify the objects of nanoscale and gives sharp focus as compared to the microscope lenses of top-end.

It is latest instance of power for metamaterials, where novel properties also emerge from the entire structure. Moreover, Shapes on surface of the lens are quite small than wavelength of the involved light: some thousandth of millimetre. Federico Capasso from University of Harvard said that the technology will become a real game changer. He is senior author of the report on new lens that appears in Science journal.

These lenses are unlike the curved glass disks that are familiar from binoculars and cameras. Rather, it is also made from thin layer of the transparent quartz that is well coated with millions of small pillars, just tens of the nanometres all across high.

Singly, every pillar also interacts much strongly with the light. The combined effect will slice up the beam of light and will also remould it since the rays will pass through array. Calculations of Computer are required to find exact pattern that will replicate focussing effect for the conventional lens.

As per Prof Capasso, the benefit is that such “metalenses” usually avoid the shortfalls known as aberrations – these are intrinsic in the traditional optics of glass. “The entire quality of the images is mainly better than through the objective lens. I believe it is also not exaggeration to mention which is possibly revolutionary.”

The comparisons are also made that is against the lenses of top-end used in the research microscopes, it is designed to attain complete and maximum magnification. However, focal spot of flat lens is usually 30% better than the competition, meaning in the lab setting, fine set of details may also be revealed.

But technology can be really revolutionary for some different reason, mentioned by Prof Capasso. The Electronics manufacturers manufacturing the microprocessors and different memory chips are regularly crafted with components smaller than pillars in flat lenses. Still a memory chip contains billions components that might cost only few pounds.


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Archie Robinson

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