Researchers have developed an ultra-compact chamber the size of a grain of salt

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Researchers at Princeton and Washington Universities have developed an imaging system the size of a grain of salt. It is based on the so-called metasurface with 1.6 million cylindrical columns. It works like a conventional image sensor.

Each column acts as an optical antenna that receives light and forms an optical wavefront from which a high-quality full-color image is created using artificial intelligence algorithms.

Researchers have developed an ultra-compact chamber the size of a grain of salt
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Traditional cameras use plastic and glass lenses to direct light onto a sensor, which converts it into an electronic signal. The camera developed by the researchers dispenses with a lens. The very idea of ​​using a metasurface has been known for a long time. An innovation in this case is obtaining the correct design of the tubes and the development of a signal processing algorithm that allows you to obtain a full-color photograph.

Researchers have developed an ultra-compact chamber the size of a grain of salt

First of all, the new camera can find application in medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases using minimally invasive endoscopy.

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The metasurface is made from silicon nitride with a technology suitable for mass production at a cost less than conventional camera lenses. Experts believe that this breakthrough will open the door to “completely different ways of creating devices in the future.”

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