Optics

De-‘SCRIBE’-ing improvements—researchers refine procedure for printing gradient refractive index optics

By Lisa McDonald / June 2, 2023

Significant progress in creating optics with nonuniform (gradient) refractive indices has been made over the past two decades. In 2020, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign proposed a unique way to use direct laser writing to achieve even greater control over the refractive index. A new open-access paper details refinements to their so-called SCRIBE method.

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Doing double duty—researchers develop metalenses that offer both spatial and spectral control of light

By Guest Contributor / March 3, 2023

Traditionally, metalenses offer either spatial or spectral control of light, not both. However, a new metalens developed by researchers from Columbia University and the City University of New York offers both functionalities.

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Crystallization of hybridized glasses provides a general and easy strategy for fabricating transparent ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / January 17, 2023

Current sintering methods used to obtain transparent ceramics face several challenges, including strict processing conditions and limited shape and size control. Researchers led by South China University of Technology presented a new general strategy for constructing dual-phase transparent ceramics from hybridized glasses that offers shape and size control as well as the potential for functionalization.

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Metalens may simplify generation and control of vacuum UV light

By Lisa McDonald / May 17, 2022

Vacuum UV light, while beneficial in biomedical and nanoprocessing applications, is difficult to generate and control using current methods. Researchers led by Rice University developed a metalens that can both generate and manipulate vacuum UV light.

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3D fabrication of transparent optical ceramics by lithography-based digital projection

By Lisa McDonald / November 23, 2021

To meet the industry’s growing demand for customized manufacturing, researchers are increasingly interested in processing transparent ceramics using additive manufacturing. Guangran Zhang and Yiquan Wu of Alfred University demonstrated how highly transparent yttrium aluminum garnet ceramics could be fabricated via a lithography-based digital projection method.

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A ‘hole’ new approach to metalens design

By Lisa McDonald / October 22, 2021

Traditionally, metalenses use nanoscale arrays of columns or fin-like structures to focus light. In a new open-access paper, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences developed a metalens that uses very deep, very narrow holes instead.

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Rare borate structural unit appears to enhance functionality of nonlinear optical materials

By Lisa McDonald / May 28, 2021

Current borate-based nonlinear optical materials are reaching the limits of their functionality based on the structural configuration of the borate. A team led by researchers in China and the United States explored arranging borate in the linear BO2 configuration to enhance functionality.

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Researchers confirm existence of unique nonlinear optical response in nanocrystal-in-glass composites

By Lisa McDonald / April 6, 2021

Second-harmonic generation is a nonlinear optical process that allows for the creation of low-power and compact light sources. Researchers in China discovered nanocrystal-in-glass composites exhibit a similar but different phenomenon called transverse second-harmonic generation that would allow for the creation of light sources with expanded capabilities.

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Mantis shrimp inspire tough composites and sophisticated optical sensors

By April Gocha / April 2, 2021

Artists and scientists alike find inspiration in nature. But two recent scientific studies found inspiration in the same creature: the mantis shrimp. The creature’s incredibly tough materials and complex eyes inspired innovations that could lead to fracture-resistant biocomposites and highly advanced optical sensors.

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Rose-tinted contact lenses offer color vision management

By Lisa McDonald / March 5, 2021

People who have color vision deficiency see colors differently from others. Tinted glasses and contact lenses offer a way to manage the condition, but to date only the former option is reliably effective. Researchers developed a new type of tinted contact lens using gold nanoparticles that shows potential for commercial scale-up.

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