Scientists have developed an ultra-thin metalizz, which can change the focus point of light depending on the temperature without any moving elements.
Modern lenses of the variable focal length are well performing their functions, but have complex structures consisting of dozens of tiny mechanical and glass elements. Researchers from the Massachusetts Technological Institute proposed an alternative consisting of only one lens and an infrared laser.
As a basis for creating a metallise, the command took the optical material used in rewritable CDs. Under the action of a laser, it can switch between transparent and opaque states. However, MIT scientists found that when included in the village of Selena, it begins to respond to such an impact otherwise.
When the material changes, the atomic structure can reversibly transform from an erratic amorphous state into a crystalline, changing its refractive ability.
The team used the modified material for creating an optical metallia with an engraved tiny structures, refracting or reflecting the light in a certain way. Further, the researchers created a lens prototype, consolidating the lens and sent a laser on it, operating in the infrared range. Experiments have shown that as the new lens is heated, its focal length increases, and the sharpness of the image does not change.
According to the developers, in the future it will be possible to make a compact lens with built-in microheater, which will be able to increase the temperature of the metals to the desired level for the split second. However, the issue of cooling and returning to the initial focus remains open. In the future, the technology can be used to create tiny lenses for smartphones.
Recall that recently engineers created the first flat lens
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