March 9, 2023

Image of the Moon captured using a metalens (Image courtesy Xingjie Ni. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nano Letters” reports the demonstration of the possibilities of a telescope equipped with a metalens. A team of researchers produced an 80-millimeter metalens, a structure that has antenna-like surface patterns that focus light to magnify distant objects. Compared to classic lenses, they have the great advantage of being extremely thin.

So far, metalenses have been limited to very small sizes due to manufacturing issues but this study developed a technique to produce 80mm metalenses usable in telescopes. It’s a deep ultraviolet (DUV) photolithography technique of the type used to produce microprocessors adapted to produce metalenses.