Researchers at Northeastern University today announced that they have been able to demonstrate the unique feature of imaging through a flat lens. Using the phenomenon of negative refraction through a novel photonic crystal, Northeastern physicists observed that a flat slab of such material behaves as a lens and focuses electromagnetic waves at microwave frequencies to produce a real image.
The research, published in tomorrow’s edition of the journal Nature, represents an important advance in the field of imaging. The lead author on the article, “Imaging by Flat Lens Using Negative Refraction,” is Srinivas Sridhar, Ph.D., from the department of physics and the Electronic Materials Institute at Northeastern. Contributors also include NU researchers Patanjali Parimi, Ph.D., Wentao Lu, Ph.D., and Plarenta Vodo.
"The significance of this research is that, for the first time, we have been able to image using a flat surface by employing a special material fabricated from a photonic crystal, which possesses a negative index of refraction,” said Sridhar. “Conventional materials, like glass or Teflon, possess positive indices of refraction and, in order to focus light or microwaves with them, you need to have a curved surface. When the concept of negative refraction emerged about 30 years ago, its most striking proposal was the notion that you could form an image using flat rather than curved surfaces. This research not only demonstrated this to be true but is a significant achievement toward the realization of several applications in imaging such as the concept of a ‘superlens’ with vastly improved power of resolution. ”
Steve Sylven | Northeastern University
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