Thursday, May 6, 2021

These materials can make science fiction a reality

“One of the big problems has been the bulk and weight,” said Gary Bradsky, chief technologist at OpenCV.E, a developer of freely available machine vision software. “I mean how much weight can your nose hold?”

Lightness is an advantage offered by Metallange, demonstrating an ultrathin lens of two-dimensional silicon, with transparent structures each reflecting higher than the wavelength of light. However, making the lens like an integrated circuit offers other important benefits.

“One of the most powerful things you get from metametries or metasurfs is the ability to actually reduce the complexity of a system while improving overall performance,” Mr. Devlin said. “So medical or scientific applications that have been discontinued in laboratories because they are really large, heavy and expensive will now be offered in a farm factor at a price point that you can put in every single person’s phone.”

An initial capability is that it would be possible to place sensors directly behind the smartphone display, making it possible to use the entire surface area of ​​the phone. It would also simplify the “structured light” sensor, which uses project patterns of dots used to identify faces.

The most powerful property of microelectronics was the ability to scale the circuit, making it less powerful and less expensive, over many decades. Metametrics, in a similar way, will change the way the designers of the beam of light exploit it.

For example, scientists who are completing an advanced millimeter telescope to be installed at Simmons Observatory in Chile next year have turned to metametrics for tiles that will coat the interior of the telescope to capture almost all stray light. . Photons landing on the surface of the tiles are trapped by a surface of ultrasound conlique structures, Mark Devlin (no relation to the MetalGen founder), professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, who is leading the design. Binoculars.

“Tiles are light, inexpensive, they are easy to install,” he said, “and they won’t fall.”

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