A new microscopic camera, capable of capturing pure, full-color images parallel to 500,000 times larger conventional lenses – despite the salty grain size.
The ultra-small optical device was developed by a team of researchers from Princeton University and the University of Washington.
It is said to overcome the problems of previous compact camera designs, which tend to capture distorted and blurry images at very low levels of view.
The new camera will allow smaller robots to sense their surroundings or help doctors diagnose problems in the human body.
Within a traditional full-size camera, curved glass or plastic lenses are used to focus incoming light rays into an area of a digital sensor.
In contrast, the small camera, developed by computer scientist Ethan Singh and colleagues, relies on 1.6 million cylinders – each the size of an HIV virus – on a special “super surface” that alters the behavior of light. Each strut on the surface with a width of 0.5 mm has a unique shape that allows it to act like an antenna.
The machine learning algorithms then illustrate each prism’s interaction with light and turn it into an image.
Images taken with the compact device provide the highest picture quality with the wide view of any full color camera ever developed.
Earlier designs had problems with capturing significant image distortions, restricted field of view, and capturing the full spectrum of visible light – this is called “RGB” imaging because it mixes the primary colors of red, green, and blue to create others.
Aside from being slightly blurry near the edges of the frame, the images captured by the small camera are comparable to those taken using a normal full-size camera system with six refractive lenses.
Cameras with pure laser light or earlier metaserfaces can perform better in natural light than other excellent conditions required to produce high quality images.
Singh, who works at Princeton University in New Jersey, said, “Designing and building these tiny microstructures is a challenge to do what you want to do.” Challenging because there are millions of small micro structures. [على السطح الرئيسي]It is not clear how to design it better.
To this end, Shane Coleborn, an optics expert at the University of Washington, has developed a numerical model that can simulate the design of metasurface and their photographic output, allowing researchers to evaluate and refine different structures.
According to Professor Colbourne, the sheer number of antennas on each surface and the complexity of their interactions with light allows each simulator to use “large amounts of memory and time”.
“Although the optical design approach is not new, it is the first system to use surface optical technology at the front end and neural processing at the rear,” said Joseph Matt, an optical engineer involved in the study.
The team is now working on adding computational capabilities to the camera – to further improve image quality but to integrate things like object detection that are useful for practical applications.
The full results of the study are published in the journal Natural contact.
Source: Daily Mail