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Ultra-Thin, Flat 'Meta-Lens' for Night Vision and Lidar

Imaging in the near-infrared is a key capability for technologies like night vision and lidar. This video demonstrates broadband imaging in the near-infrared using a single 'meta-lens' developed by engineers at Columbia University. They have created the first flat lens capable of correctly focusing a large range of colors of any polarization to the same focal spot without the need for any additional elements. The lens is much thinner than a sheet of paper, with performance comparable to top-of-the-line compound lens systems. The innovation could drastically reduce the size and weight of optical instruments used for imaging, including cameras, microscopes, and telescopes. The engineers envision thin patches of imaging and sensing systems for driverless cars and drones.