Multiwavelength achromatic metasurfaces by dispersive phase compensation

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Science  20 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6228, pp. 1342-1345
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2494

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Color correcting planar optics

The functionality of many bulk optical elements can now be replaced by specially designed structures fabricated in thin films. This planar optics approach, however, has generally been applicable to only a narrow band of wavelengths. Aieta et al. show that chromatic dispersion, or color dependence, can be compensated for by the judicious design of the surface. The results demonstrate a general approach for the fabrication of broadband and lightweight optical elements that can be engineered into planar thin films.

Science, this issue p. 1342


The replacement of bulk refractive optical elements with diffractive planar components enables the miniaturization of optical systems. However, diffractive optics suffers from large chromatic aberrations due to the dispersion of the phase accumulated by light during propagation. We show that this limitation can be overcome with an engineered wavelength-dependent phase shift imparted by a metasurface, and we demonstrate a design that deflects three wavelengths by the same angle. A planar lens without chromatic aberrations at three wavelengths is also presented. Our designs are based on low-loss dielectric resonators, which introduce a dense spectrum of optical modes to enable dispersive phase compensation. The suppression of chromatic aberrations in metasurface-based planar photonics will find applications in lightweight collimators for displays, as well as chromatically corrected imaging systems.

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