Big Advancement in Glass Lens Market: New Study Might Lead to Development of Designs for Miniature Zoom Lenses

Posted On March 22, 2021     

For several centuries, Imaging System has made polished glass its focal point because the precise curvature present in such glasses helps the lens focus light and produce sharp images. It hardly matters if the object in view is a single cell or a far-off galaxy. Usually, to change the scale's focus, one needs to move the lens by shifting it or maybe tilting or sliding it. This is done through mechanical parts that result in added bulk in microscopes and telescopes.

To solve this problem, engineers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have fabricated metalens that can shift focus without needing to tilt, slide, or move the lens. This is a massive advancement in Glass Lens Market as this new development might enable designs for miniature zoom lenses for the night, vision goggles, drones, or cell phones.

The newly made “metalens” can focus on objects at different types of lengths without any need to change their physical position or shape. The new lens is not made of solid glass, usually but of transparent phase-changing material. The unique aspect of this material is that after heating, it rearranges its atomic structure and can change the way the material interacts with light.

The researchers embedded tiny precisely patterned structures at the material’s surface that work together to refract or reflect light in unique ways as a “metasurface.” By the change in the material’s property, the metasurface's optical function varies accordingly. In this instance, when the material was kept at room temperature, the metasurface focused light on generating an image of an object at a certain distance. Once the material got heated, its atomic structure altered, and it redirected the light to focus on a more distant object.

This is the way with which the new active “metalens” can tune its focus without any need for bulky mechanical elements, as was the case till now. The results as per the study show that the new ultra-thin turnable lens without needing to move any parts can achieve aberration-free imaging of objects that overlap each other at multiple depths.

In this new study, the team fabricated a 1-micron thick layer of GSST. They created a “metasurface” by engraving the GSST layer into such microscopic structures that are of different types and can refract light in various ways.
Researchers state that it was a complex process to build a metasurface that can switch between different functionalities and requires sophisticated research on what types of shapes and patterns to use. If one can predict the behavior of the material, then a specific pattern can be designed that will work as per the needs of the research.

The team's experiments show that a metalens can actively change focus without needing any mechanical motions. As per the study, metalens could potentially be fabricated with microheaters resulting in quick heating. Soon, this study might enable us to arbitrarily control the metalens' focal length.

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