Imagine a camera that captures pictures on a flat surface, without any need for a glass lens.
Such cameras already exist, thanks to exotic materials known as metasurfaces. They’re not yet ready for prime time, but a new approach that relies on heavy-duty computational processing could soon get them there.
University of Washington researchers show how it could be done in a paper published last week by the journal Science Advances. If the technique can be commercialized, it could turn metasurface-based lenses, or metalenses, into the next big thing in ultrathin cameras and microscopes.