With these days’ tendency to make every gadget thinner, lighter, smaller (remember the 512 GB Samsung SSD?), it’s no wonder Harvard researchers believe the lens of the future will be the opposite of what we know today – curved, big, made from glass. In fact, the metalens of tomorrow will be thinner than a strand of hair #fotomagic
Scientists found a way to replace glass lenses with ones made from flat “metasurfaces” that “allow the miniaturization of conventional refractive optics into planar structures.” The subsequent metalenses are just 2mm across and extremely thin, focusing light by arranging “small towers” of titanium dioxide in specific patterns. As Federico Capasso, senior author of the published paper where everything is explained puts it, “each pillar interacts strongly with light. Their combined effect is to slice up a light beam and remould it as the rays pass through the array.”
According to Capasso, the quality of the images taken with those lenses compare with those shot with “state-of-the-art objective lens.” If that is so, we might be they could revolutionize the camera industry.