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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Researchers have created a new type of ultra-thin liquid crystal metal lens with electronic scaling function

Researchers have created a new type of ultra-thin liquid crystal metal lens with electronic scaling function

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:26

According to foreign media reports, researchers from the Cornell School of Applied and Engineering Physics and Samsung Advanced Technology Research Institute have invented a new type of metal - a metamaterial lens that can focus its components through voltage rather than mechanical movement. The validation of this concept has opened the door to a series of compact zoom lenses that may be used in many imaging applications such as satellites, telescopes, and microscopes, traditionally using curved lens focusing.

In some applications, it is not practical to move traditional glass or plastic lenses to change the focal length due to space, weight, or size considerations.

A metal lens is a flat array of nanoantennas or resonators, with a thickness of less than one micrometer, used as a focusing device. The first author of this study, Melissa Bosch, stated that until now, a metal has been manufactured and its focal length is difficult to change.

This innovative technology, developed in collaboration with researchers from Samsung and Cornell University, involves combining a metal with mature liquid crystal technology to customize the local phase response of the metal. This allows researchers to control the focus of the metal by changing the voltage across the entire device.

"The result of this combination is as we hoped and predicted," Bosch said. "It produces an ultra-thin, electrically adjustable lens that can continuously zoom, with a total focal length displacement of up to 20%.".

Bosch stated that Samsung researchers hope to develop technology for AR glasses. She also saw many other possible applications such as replacing satellites, spacecraft, drones, night vision goggles, endoscopes, and other applications that prioritize space and weight savings.

Maxim Shcherbakov, postdoctoral assistant at Shvets Laboratory and corresponding author of the paper, stated that researchers have made progress in combining liquid crystals with nanostructures in the past decade, but no one has yet applied this idea to lenses. Now, the team plans to continue this project and improve the performance of the prototype.

Shcherbakov said, "For example, if this lens works only at one wavelength - red, but it becomes more useful when it can work in different color spectra - red, green, and blue."

The research team at Cornell University is using existing platforms as a starting point to develop a multi wavelength zoom version of metal lenses.

"The optimization process for other wavelengths is very similar to the red one. In some ways, the most difficult step has already been completed, so now we are only going further on the basis of the completed work," Bosch said.