Technology

A new lens on the world: Improving the metalens with liquid crystal

A new lens on the world: Improving the metalens with liquid crystal

For more than 500 years, humans have mastered the art of refracting light by shaping glass into lenses, then bending or combining those lenses to amplify and clarify images either close-up and far-off. But in the last decade or so, a group led by scientist Federico Capasso at Harvard University has begun to transform the field of optics by engineering flat optics metasurfaces, employing an array of millions of tiny microscopically thin and transparent quartz pillars to diffract and mold the flow of light in much the same way as a glass lens, but without the aberrations that naturally limit the glass.

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