Recently, a new type of lens called a metalens has passed a major hurdle. This is a flat surface that is used by nanostructures to focus light. This may change optics forever and replace the lenses that we use nowadays.
Scientists knew that these ultra-compact lenses have a big potential, but up until now they’ve struggled to focus a broad spectrum of light.
Now, fir the first time, scientists have developed a single metalens that is capable of focusing all the colours of the rainbow – so, the entire visible spectrum of light.
The potential of metalensing is really huge.
The lead scientists Federico Capasso said: “Metalenses have advantages over traditional lenses. Metalenses are thin, easy to fabricate and cost effective. This breakthrough extends those advantages across the whole visible range of light. This is the next big step.”
Because different wavelengths of light are moving through materials at different speed, making metalens appears to be very tricky.
The colour red moves the fastest and violet appears to be the slowest.
After doing few experiments, researchers were able to figure out how to control the speed of different wavelengths of light that is passing through the lens.
One of the scientists named Alexander Zhu, said: “Using our achromatic lens, we are able to perform high quality, white light imaging. This brings us one step closer to the goal of incorporating them into common optical devices such as cameras.”
So, the next stage would be to scale up the metalens to a 1 cm size, which will open a lot of possibilities on standard cameras, microscopes and really all kinds of optical technology.
In a BBC report, Capasso said: “In my opinion, this technology will be game-changing”