20 June 2024
3D printed multilayer structures for high-numerical aperture achromatic lenses

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Say goodbye to bulky lenses! Cutting-edge 3D printing technology has paved the way for ultra-thin, high-performance lenses that work across multiple wavelengths. These groundbreaking multilayer structures, crafted from high-refractive index materials, are set to revolutionize optics as we know it.

Revolutionizing Lens Design with 3D Printing

Summary:



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Flat optics made of nanostructures have been used to create lenses with thin form factors that only work at specific wavelengths. However, researchers have faced challenges in achieving achromatic lenses that can function across a wide range of wavelengths. In a groundbreaking study, a team of scientists from Singapore and China proposed a new approach to designing high numerical aperture, broadband, and polarization-insensitive multilayer achromatic metalenses using 3D printing technology. Their research, published in Science Advances, demonstrated the potential of 3D-printed multilayer structures to create broadband and multifunctional meta devices.

Understanding the Need for Achromatic Lenses

Background:

Metalenses, which are compact and lightweight lenses, have shown great promise in various applications such as light-field imaging, bioanalysis, medicine, and quantum technologies. Achromatic lenses, in particular, are lenses that can capture color information across a broad range of wavelengths. However, achieving achromatic lenses has been challenging due to the limitations of existing materials and their ability to control light effectively.

The Role of 3D Printing in Lens Fabrication

Methodology:

To overcome the challenges in fabricating multilayer achromatic metalenses, the research team utilized 3D printing technology. Specifically, they employed a nanoscale 3D printing method called two-photon lithography, which allowed them to rapidly prototype complex structures. By using topology optimization and full wavelength simulations, the team was able to design and fabricate high-performance metalenses with nanoscale features precisely.

Unleashing the Potential of Multilayer Achromatic Metalenses

Results:

The engineered multilayer achromatic metalenses demonstrated exceptional performance in removing chromatic aberrations and achieving high focusing efficiency across a broad range of wavelengths. The use of low-refractive index materials in the stacked metasurfaces extended the performance of the metalenses into broadband functions while maintaining a high numerical aperture. The researchers also optimized the fabrication method to achieve a prototype that closely matched the desired design.

Future Implications and Possibilities

Conclusion:

This groundbreaking research opens up new possibilities in lens design and fabrication. By leveraging the capabilities of 3D printing technology, scientists can now create high-performance achromatic metalenses that can be used in a wide range of applications beyond the visible range. The use of higher resolution 3D printing methods and high refractive index resins holds the potential for the development of multifunctional optical systems with a broadband response range, including the near or mid-infrared range. This research paves the way for the advancement of imaging technologies and the creation of more efficient and versatile optical devices.

SOURCE: 3D printed multilayer structures for high-numerical aperture achromatic lenses

https://phys.org/news/2023-12-3d-multilayer-high-numerical-aperture-achromatic.html

FAQs

1. What is an achromatic lens?

An achromatic lens is a type of lens that can capture color information across a broad range of wavelengths. It is designed to reduce or eliminate chromatic aberration, which is the distortion of colors that occurs when light passes through a lens.

2. How are 3D printing technology and achromatic lenses related?

3D printing technology plays a crucial role in the fabrication of achromatic lenses. It allows researchers to create complex structures with nanoscale features precisely, enabling the design and production of high-performance metalenses. Specifically, a nanoscale 3D printing method called two-photon lithography is used in this research to rapidly prototype the lenses.

3. What are the advantages of multilayer achromatic metalenses?

Multilayer achromatic metalenses offer exceptional performance in removing chromatic aberrations and achieving high focusing efficiency across a broad range of wavelengths. They can be designed and fabricated using 3D printing technology, allowing for the creation of compact and lightweight lenses with precise control over light. These lenses have a wide range of potential applications in fields such as imaging, bioanalysis, medicine, and quantum technologies.

4. How do low-refractive index materials extend the performance of metalenses?

Low-refractive index materials used in the stacked metasurfaces of metalenses help extend their performance into broadband functions. By incorporating these materials, the lenses can maintain a high numerical aperture while achieving a wider response range. This allows for improved imaging capabilities and the ability to capture color information across a broader spectrum of wavelengths.

5. What are the future implications of this research?

This groundbreaking research opens up new possibilities in lens design and fabrication. By leveraging the capabilities of 3D printing technology, scientists can now create high-performance achromatic metalenses that can be used in a wide range of applications beyond the visible range. The use of higher resolution 3D printing methods and high refractive index resins holds the potential for the development of multifunctional optical systems with a broadband response range, including the near or mid-infrared range. This research paves the way for the advancement of imaging technologies and the creation of more efficient and versatile optical devices.



Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: 3D printing, Metalenses, Achromatic lens

3D printing
3D printing or additive manufacturing is the construction of a three-dimensional object from a CAD model or a digital 3D model. It can be done in a variety of processes in which material is deposited, joined or solidified under computer control, with the material being added together (such as plastics,...
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Light field camera
A light field camera, also known as a plenoptic camera, is a camera that captures information about the light field emanating from a scene; that is, the intensity of light in a scene, and also the precise direction that the light rays are traveling in space. This contrasts with conventional...
Read more: Light field camera

Achromatic lens
An achromatic lens or achromat is a lens that is designed to limit the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. Achromatic lenses are corrected to bring two wavelengths (typically red and blue) into focus on the same plane. Wavelengths in between these two then have better focus error than could...
Read more: Achromatic lens

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