Researchers from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a flat, ultra thin lens that is made from light-concentrating silicon antennas and a glass substrate. This lens is capable of color correction at a high level in a single, miniaturized lens.
Shining light through an “achromatic metasurface” means the lens will automatically bend the light instead of letting it gradually shine through. If a researcher can plan for the bending effect in advance, through the use of a specialized algorithm, he can fine tune the way the light bends and reacts and then fine tune it for specific applications and uses.
The Harvard researchers discovered a way to bend the light without increasing the size or thickness of the lens by using an optical technology that takes wavelength differences into consideration and calculates the algorithms to produce a consistent effect. They can, as an example, deflect multiple beams of varying colors by the same angle, and then focus the colors on a specific spot.
Instead of using a metal typically used for nanoantennas, this technology utilizes a dielectric material. The researchers found the nanoantennas improved the efficiency; when it’s combined with the new design it enables the capture and focus of multiple beams of light into a broad range of wavelengths.
The benefits of this technology is that it could be used to develop miniature optical communications devices, compact cameras, and imaging technologies.
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