Smile Please, Say Cheese!! These are the most common words you say when you click an image. Well, the camera you utilize to take it must be able to focus on the visual you’ll picture, else it’ll be a bad day for you as you’ll be receiving comments on your photography skills.
Researchers bring us yet another surprise as we now have focus-free cameras. Creating this was made by employing a single lens which is about one-thousandth of an inch thick. This technology thus gives us a good advantage over the regular cameras, which require to possess multiple lenses to make quality images.
The team led by Rajesh Menon from the University of Utah said that these flat lenses reduce the weight complexity and price of cameras and other imaging systems, while increasing their functionality, thus enabling thinner and slimmer smartphone cameras. This also has an advantage in the medical field. Such small cameras will allow us for biomedical imaging like endoscopy, and more compact cameras for automobiles.
Optica, The Optical Society’s (OSA) journal for high impact research, the researchers describe that the new flat lens can maintain focus on objects that are about six meters apart from one another. These lenses use Nanostructure patterned on a flat surface instead of bulky glass or plastic to attain the essential optical properties that control the way light travels. This might even help us create highly efficient illumination for LIDAR that is critical for several autonomous systems, including self-driving cars.
The research team says that the design approach they used can be expanded to form optical components with any number of properties like extreme bandwidth, easier manufacturability, or lower cost.
What about the previous camera lens??
The conventional cameras require focusing to make sure that the main points of an object are sharp. The new lens eliminates the necessity for focusing and thus allows any camera to keep all the objects focussed simultaneously.
Traditional lenses transform parallel light waves into spherical waves that converge into a focal spot. The vital breakthrough with the flat lens was the realization that waves with other shapes can produce an identical effect. The scientists then chose the most useful lens design for depth focus and used nanofabrication techniques to make their prototype lens.
After making the selection of lens, the team used nanofabrication techniques to form a prototype lens. Experiments confirmed that the new lens performed needless to say and achieved a depth of focus several orders of magnitude larger than that of a similar conventional lens, thus bringing it to lots of use.
There was an illustration by the researchers using the new lens. They conceive to extend the lens to larger numerical apertures and to use it with the complete light spectrum. After it succeeds, they said they’d make sure that the lenses can be mass-manufactured before they’ll commercialize it.
“This research may be a good example of how abandoning traditional notions can enable devices previously considered impossible,” said Menon. “It is a decent reminder to question dictates from the past.”