A flat ultra-thin lens has been successfully developed, and its thickness is ten times thinner than that of a human hair. It can make smartphones, digital cameras and glasses lighter and thinner within 5 years. University of Utah professor Rajesh Menon and colleagues have published a paper in the latest issue of the journal Science Report. The title of the paper is "Diffractive Lenses for Chromatic Aberration Correction for Ultra-Wideband Focus." Previous researchers have suggested that it is not possible to use planar ultra-thin optical lenses on cameras and other devices. Conventional cameras use multiple curved lens stacks that bend the color of light to a single point. Now with this flat lens, the light interacts with the microstructure in the lens.
This newly developed super achromatic lens (planar lens) can be made of any transparent material such as glass or plastic. Such lenses will be widely used on smartphones, digital cameras, glasses, drones, satellites and medical devices. Using this new lens will make the portable device lighter and the camera more robust.
If a smartphone manufacturer deploys a flat lens, it will make the smartphone thinner. The iPhone 6S has an ultra-thin body, but its camera is slightly more prominent. Rajesh Menon hopes that this technology will be put into commercial use within five years.