A Clear Vision: The Latest Developments in Lens Technology23rd Feb 2023
As a forward-looking, global supplier of optical components for scientific and technological projects, Knight Optical strives to keep abreast of unique uses for its products as well as brand-new optics as part of its internal product development. In this blog, the trusted provider explores the popularity of one of its biggest ranges, Lenses, and highlights one of the latest innovations to hit the headlines in this field of optical components – the Metalens.
Lenses are a long-serving part of our portfolio. Over the years, we’ve seen these optics meet the stringent requirements of many high-precision applications in the worlds of Medical and University & Research, as well as Defence & Aerospace and Engineering & Manufacturing sectors, to name a handful.
From conventional stock Lenses to custom-made options, our line includes components such as Aspheric, Spherical, Cylindrical, Ball and Half-Ball.
Over the years, we’ve answered our customers’ calls for development with the launch of brand-new products and enhanced capabilities amongst our existing offerings, with the release of a handful of new lines last year.
The early stages of our in-house product development naturally arise from market analysis, where we take note of innovations and components that are helping to drive their success.
Here, we take you on an explorative overview of a new optic that’s on our radar.
There are many Lens types emerging on the market that are set to shake up the optics industry, and as our devices become smaller, so too do the optical components within them. Take, for example, smartphones. Over the years, we’ve seen cumbersome and block-like designs transform into more compact, sleek models.
As the miniaturisation trend has come to the fore over recent years, here in the optics industry, we’ve witnessed the need for not only smaller components but flatter ones, too. Typically, diffractive optics technology is used to achieve this requirement for flatter components. However, there’s a new Lens on the block that’s set to expand on this technology and change the game in a smaller format. Cue the Metalens.
A New Light: Understanding Metalenses
Patterned with tiny nanostructures, the Metalens boasts a list of unique characteristics. The formation of this lens controls the way light passes through it, allowing it to focus and manipulate.
One of the main benefits of using a Metalens is that it can be made much smaller and thinner than a traditional lens, which allows for more compact and lightweight optical systems. Substituting bulkier, curvier lenses, the flat Metalens is the first-ever single high-resolution lens that can focus the entire visible spectrum in the same place1.
The Key to Unlocking More Advanced Technology?
Metalenses have many potential applications, including in smartphones, cameras, and other consumer electronics, as well as in scientific research and medical imaging. They are also being developed for use in a variety of other fields, such as virtual and augmented reality and optical communications.
Tiny Lenses, Big Impact: The Role of Metalenses in Smartphone Technology
In the world of smartphones, giants such as Samsung and LG are replacing the bulkier glass and plastic lenses that previously protruded from the back of our phones – leaving them susceptible to scratches and scuffs when placed on hard surfaces and in back pockets with keys – with Metalenses.
These optics are being used in smartphones for their ability to enhance the performance of cameras, thanks to the nanostructures that can bend and focus light in a similar way of multiple traditional lenses. This allows for the sought-after smaller and more compact lens design. Additionally, Metalenses can also offer improved image quality, such as sharper focus and reduced distortion. As a result, incorporating Metalenses into smartphones can lead to smaller and more advanced camera modules, as well as better image quality for consumers.
Revolutionising AR: How Metalenses Changing the Game
Much like the smartphone, Metalenses are being used in augmented reality (AR) to improve the performance and miniaturisation of optical systems. While headsets and smart glasses – which transport users into the worlds of AR, virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) and the like – are super high-tech, their bulky designs and clunky appearance have proved something of a deterrent in a marketplace of sleek, small devices. These Metalenses are set to change this cumbersome perception with smaller, more polished designs.
AR devices rely on the ability to capture and display real-world images while overlaying virtual objects over them. So, as well as their ability to eliminate the need for multiple and larger optics, Metalenses can also offer improved image quality, such as sharper focus, reduced distortion, and better colour reproduction.
As a result, incorporating these types of lenses into AR devices can lead to not only smaller and more advanced optical systems and better image quality, which enhances the overall AR experience.
Tiny But Mighty
In conclusion, the world of optics is constantly evolving, and the introduction of Metalenses is a prime example of this. These tiny nanostructured lenses can lead to a host of benefits, such as smaller and more compact designs, improved image quality, and enhanced performance in fields such as smartphones, augmented reality, and medical imaging.
So, whether you’re a tech-savvy smartphone user or a medical professional, keep an eye out for Metalenses as they continue to revolutionise the optics industry.
Why Choose Knight Optical for your Application?
Discerning customers rely on Knight Optical not only for the premium quality of our output and in-house state-of-the-art Metrology Laboratory and QA Department’s capabilities but because – as well as a range of Stock Optics (available for next-day dispatch) – we also offer our optics as Custom-Made Components.
In 2021, we celebrated 30 years in business. With over three decades of experience under our belt and a whole host of long-standing world-renowned customers on our books, we are proud to have worked on some of the most ground-breaking innovations.
If you are looking for premium-quality, stock, and bespoke optical components, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Technical Sales Team here.
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