Innovation in technology can transform our lives. Imagine the period of 2007-2008 when smartphones were coming up. Smartphones have continued to improve daily and become advanced. Today, they have become an essential part of our daily lives. We almost cannot live without them.
There is another innovation on the horizon. It has the potential to transform our smartphone experience. Researchers at the University of São Paulo’s São Carlos School of Engineering ( EESC-USP )are behind the work. They have developed lens thousands of times thinner than a human hair. The revolutionary lens can work on a smartphone or device with a sensor.
Details on Researcher
The research is titled “On Metalenses with Arbitrarily Wide Field of View.” ACS Photonics has published it. The lead author of the paper is a Ph.D. candidate, Augusto Martins. FAPESP funded the project. Augusto won a scholarship for a research internship abroad.
How The Lens Works?
The lens consists of a single nanometric layer of silicon on arrays of nanoposts that react with light. The image is printed by photolithography. Fabricate transistors use the same technique. The lens is called a metalens.
Features of Flat Lens
- Thousand times thinner than a human hair.
- Flat lens.
- Field of view 180° without image distortion.
- Ideal for smartphone and devices with sensors
History of Metalens
Metalens has been around for a while. It was developed a decade ago.
The lens can enable the highest resolution that is physically possible. The feat is achieved via metasurface.
The metasurface is an ultrathin array of tiny waveguides. It bends the light as it passes through the lens. You might be wondering why we are calling the lens revolutionary now. Well, the lens had a shortcoming. It had a minute angle of view less than one degree.
Researchers worked their way around the shortcoming. They applied the theory of a standard lens in metalens.
The method is refraction index increases the field of view directly proportional to the flatness of the lens.
Researchers were able to design a flat lens with an infinite refraction index. The method is not possible in a standard lens, but it worked in metalens.
Professor of EESC-USP, Emiliano Rezende Martins, talked about the lens’ possibilities. He said,
“Our lens has an arbitrary field of view, which ideally can reach 180° without image distortion. We’ve tested its effectiveness for an angle of 110°.”
Metalens still needs working to come into use. The primary issue is the decreasing of light due to shadow effects. The failure occurs when wider angles of view increases. But, post-processing could solve the problem.
When two metalenses are combined, it prevents super-resolution. But, the lens could still work for conventional devices. Professor Martins tested the lens with 3D printed camera. The result was high-resolution images with a wide field of view.
And the lens can only photograph green color. The researchers are working to include other colors.
Metalens is a promising innovation in technology. It is in the developing stage. It could change our camera lens. But, we have to keep patience and trust science.