A new ultrathin, flat lens focuses light without imparting the optical distortions of conventional lenses (Image: Francesco Aieta.)
The surface of the flat lens (left) is coated with concentric rings of gold optical nanoantennas (inset) that impart phase delays of varying magnitude (right) (Image: Francesco Aieta)
The miniaturization of electronics, in particular the electronic sensors on which digital images are captured, has seen digital cameras shrink to such a degree that they are now standard equipment on mobile phones. The main thing holding back further downsizing is the lens through which the light is focused onto said image sensor. A team of applied physicists from Harvard University has now overcome this roadblock by creating a lens that, at just 60 nanometers thick, is effectively two-dimensional. Not only that, the ultrathin lens focuses light without the distortions seen in conventional lenses.
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