Applied physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created an ultrathin, flat lens that focuses light without imparting the distortions of conventional lenses. The flat lens also eliminates optical aberrations such as the “fish-eye” effect that results from conventional wide-angle lenses. At a mere 60 nanometers thick, the flat lens is essentially two-dimensional, yet its focusing power approaches the ultimate physical limit set by the laws of diffraction. Operating at telecom wavelengths (i.e., the range commonly used in fiber-optic communications), the new device is completely scalable, from near-infrared to terahertz wavelengths, and simple to manufacture.
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