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World’s thinnest lens measures a barely-there 6.3 nm thick

by • March 13, 2016 • No Comments

Scientists have turn it intod the world’s thinnest lens, that at only 6.3 nm (nanometers) thick is one two-thousandth the thickness of a human hair. The team of the Australian National University (ANU) says the lens was turn it intod via molybdenum disulphide crystal, and may be key in the miniaturization of cameras and the development of flexible desktop displays.

In new years we’ve seen a number of developments focvia on creating ultra-thin lenses. These have included via gold nanoantennas, graphene microlens, and new methods of creating diffractive lenses. But now a team led by Dr Yuerui (Larry) Lu of the ANU Research School of Engineering has set a new record with its own lens.

The researchers turn it intod the lens via molybdenum disulphide crystal, that is in a class of materials known as chalcogenide glasses. These have flexible electronic characteristics that manufacture them talked about for use in high-technology components.

Single layers of molybdenum disulphide 0.7 nm thick have in addition been discovered to have astonishing optical properties, appearing to a light beam to be 50 times thicker, at 38 nm. This property, known as optical path length, determines the phase of the light and controls interference and diffraction of light as it propagates.

To turn it into the ultra-thin lens, a 6.3 nm thick crystal – 9 atomic layers – was peeled off of a larger piece of molybdenum disulphide via sticky tape. A focussed ion beam was and so utilized to shave off layers atom by atom until a dome-shaped 10-micron radius lens was left. The resulting lens is said to outshine previous record-setting ultra-thin flat lenses, turn it intod of 50 nm thick gold nano-bar arrays.

“The capability of manipulating the flow of light in atomic scale opens an amazing avenue towards unprecedented miniaturization of optical components and the integration of high end optical functionalities.” says Dr Lu.

It’s idea the findings may assist in the development of flexible desktop displays as well as the miniaturization of cameras. Dr Lu says an array of micro lenses may in addition be utilized to mimic the compound eyes of insects.

This study is published in the Nature serial journal Light: Science and Applications.

Source: Australian National University

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