Scientists at Harvard University in the United States, working on a new technology that can bring the quality of DSLR cameras for mobile phones, according to information released by the journal Science, last June 3. To achieve this goal, they created a new kind of photographic lens in glass place, uses quartz microstructures to direct the light to the photo sensor more efficiently and much more compact dimensions.
The new lens was called metalens alluding to the use of titanium oxide in quartz plates that compose it. This material has a surface designed so that the light is directed more efficiently to the photo sensor. As you can see in the image, the lens is made of patterns and spaces and it is through these openings that light passes.
The result is a photographic lens of only 0.08 inches, completely flat, but that can resolve details smaller than 400 nanometers (1 nanometer is one meter divided by 1 million): in practice, and simply, the tiny lens can identify more precise details without requiring optical assemblies in expensive glass, sensitive and large.
Researchers go excited about the prospects of technology, as well as allowing tiny lenses and high quality, it can also mean lower costs. Currently, photographic lenses are expensive and made of extremely sensitive manufacturing processes and accuracy levels that can oscillate: two lenses manufactured in the same place may have variations in quality due to these distortions.
Netalens technology is different. For taking the glass and geometric precision to shape it in the form and correct angle, the process can open mass manufacturing space of cheaper lenses in the same industries that now produce microchips.
Despite the interesting prospects, the technology is still in early stages. At the time, the lenses created by the researchers only refract a part of visible light: that is, a picture generated with such lens will produce an odd image, that will miss colors and information. However, to create a metalens that has the capacity to refract the entire visible spectrum will still take several years.