Engineers have developed an ultra-thin silicon metal lens with an infinite refractive index that can serve as a camera lens or be used in other devices.
The invention of a team of researchers from the University of São Paulo consists of just one nanometer layer of silicon placed on an array of tiny waveguides that refract light as it passes through them. Metalens structure was created using the photolithography method.
Drawing on the principles of traditional lenses, the engineers have designed a metalens that fully simulates a flat lens with an infinite refractive index. The team-created lens has an arbitrary field of view, which ideally can be up to 180° without image distortion.
Tests have shown that lens performance begins to decline at angles of view greater than 110°, as the light energy is reduced due to the shadow effect, but this can be corrected with post-processing. Although combining metalens does not allow for ultra-high resolution, the resulting image quality is more than sufficient for any non-specialized application..
So far, the team has managed to get images only in green, but further upgrades of the lens will allow the entire visible spectrum to be included in the work..
Scientists have created a flat lens a thousand times thinner than a human hair
We also previously reported on the development of a focusless camera. with a new flat lens that does not require focus.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: FAPESP