A group of researchers from Caltech and Samsung have developed a new camera lens that's thinner than a strand of human hair. They have created a tiny flat lens that works together with a digital sensor.
To make this possible, experts used sheets of silicon cylinders, which create a metasurface. This lets the 'lens' made of silicon sheets become adjustable.
When the lens' diameter is altered, light passes through and images are focused on a single silicon sheet instead of multiple glass.
“Metasurfaces like these can be easily mass produced, much the way computer chips are. That means this could be a cheap and easily scalable way to create tiny lenses just a few millimeters in diameter,” said Caltech postdoctoral researcher Amir Arbabi, who also worked with Andrei Faraon, a Caltech assistant professor of applied physics and material science, and Seunghoon Han, from Samsung Electronics with digitaltrends
A strand of hair measures about 100,000 nanometers. Compared to each cylinder of 600 nanometers tall — which would make each double sheet lens about 1,200 nanometers thick, clearly a strand of hair is thicker than this material.
However, focusing becomes possible because the sheets are adjustable to hundreds of nanometers.
The silicon sheets can be effortlessly added to a SMOS advanced imaging sensor.
Stacked lenses with a sensor can be used for technological innovations such as, smart phones and endoscopic cameras.