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Distortion Free Flat Lens

  1. Aug 25, 2012 #1
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824093523.htm

    If I understand the technology correctly these optical antennas substitute surface plasmon effects for the phase delays of the light passing through glass. They also use standard semiconductor manufacturing techniques meaning mass production could begin very soon. Exactly what the practical limitations might be boggle the imagination especially when combined with other surface plasmon technology.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2012 #2
    Just a quick update. According to Wired magazine the author's website nearly went down from all the attention this brought.

    http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/08/new-flat-lens-could-revolutionize-cameras-as-we-know-them/

    The technology is sometimes called a "superlens" and for ten years scientists have been struggling to find a way to make one only to be stymied by engineering problems. It's essentially a metamaterial and what is so exciting about this approach is that it requires a very simple 2D architecture, materials, and manufacturing processes making both experimentation and mass production all that easier.
     
  4. Aug 30, 2012 #3
    It appears that this is somewhat similar to a Fresnel zone plate. As such it would probably have very strong dispersion, i.e. change of focal length as function of wave length.

    On the technological side, a nanometer thin film is probably stable only over a very small area. Lenses for photography, astronomy, etc tend to be big. Fresnel lenses also have intrinsic limitations to the maximum lens diameter for a given wave length and focal length.
     
  5. Aug 30, 2012 #4
    Lead author Francesco Aieta said in a statement "In the future we can potentially replace all the bulk components in the majority of optical systems with just flat surfaces."
    Read more at http://www.tweaktown.com/news/25511...ut_distortions/index.html#DWEfdzWWxPMCrvo2.99

    I'm certainly not an expert on optics, but I believe a "superlens" without distortion is only possible with a Luneburg lens and, hence, the resemblance of this one to a Fresnel design. Other types of lenses designed using the same nano antenna technology I assume would have tradeoffs and this one represents a sort of benchmark for the associated tradeoffs involved such as how much light actually makes it through the lens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
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