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Revolutionary ‘Spaceplate’ Can Get Rid of Traditional Camera Lenses

Researchers at the University of Ottawa have developed an idea that would dramatically reduce the size of the lens. and effectively eliminate the size of modern lenses when combined with metal. The team did not compose the lenses themselves. but the gap between the lenses

Researchers explain that optical work over the past few centuries has relied on perfection and integration of lenses to better control optical performance. Relatively new nanotechnology has enabled the development of metals capable of large reductions in lens sizes.

But indispensable in the development of metals are the requirements for the gaps between optical elements. no matter how small the lens It also takes space to create an image. That area will always be an obstacle to miniaturization. unless directly managed

as described in the abstract of the research report. Researchers point to space issues by presenting concepts and experimenting with optical demonstrations of “space discs”


“…an optic that diffuses light effectively over a distance much longer than the plate thickness. Such optical fibers will shrink future visual systems. Open up an opportunity for a slim monolithic camera. more broadly Space sheets can be used to shrink critical devices that handle the implicit spatial profile of light, such as solar generators. Light regulator for light sources Integrated optical components and spectrometers.”

The team, led by Dr. Orad Reshef – Senior Research Fellow in the Robert Boyd Group – and Dr. Jeff Lundeen – Canadian Research Chair in Quantum Photonics and Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa – spoke with. physics and explained that the team wanted to address how light spreads between optical elements and deal with aspects. of the process that the lens element can’t do

In an interview, Dr. Reshef said that light naturally diffuses when traveling. And all optical devices in use today rely on that diffusion to work. For example, he points to a large gap between the eyepiece and the objective lens in a telescope or camera lens: both rely on that distance and diffuse. out to work properly.

But that gap and other spaces In the design of the lens takes up a lot of space. And his team has developed what they call “space discs” that can take the same scattered light and compress it into a “companion” for the lens and allow the entire imaging system to be significantly smaller.

“We looked at what would happen if you controlled the light based on the angle rather than the location of the light rays,” said Dr Landine. physics“The lens acts through the position of the ray. Angle is a completely exotic domain. And no one has shown that it can be used to create something particularly useful. We identified useful applications that are compressing space. And then we showed that we could actually design and experiment with a dish that could do that.”

Dr. Reshef said the development would theoretically allow lens makers to shrink all large devices previously thought impossible to scale.

“In design, we had to create new rules that were incompatible with the rules used in lens design. No one knows what they are. It’s like the Wild West,” he said. “It’s surprising how optical elements such as lenses have been around for thousands of years. And their design rules have been well understood for over 400 years, but we are still discovering new fundamental optical elements for photography.”

The space plate can be worked in tandem with the metal to greatly reduce the size of the lens to the point in the example graphics. The lens appears flush with the camera’s sensor.

The researchers say they are developing the next generation of technology to increase the compression factor and improve overall efficiency.

“We already have some designs to increase the compression factor from five to more than 100 times and to increase overall transmission. To keep doing this We need to create a whole new design paradigm,” said Dr. Landine.

While metal has threatened to eradicate camera bumps in modern smartphones. But the slab combined with metal technology has the potential to eliminate modern optics. all. It could be a revolutionary development in vision science. The full research report can be read here.

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