Research ArticleOPTICS

Snapshot spectral imaging with parallel metasystems

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Science Advances  18 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 38, eabc7646
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc7646


Spectral imagers divide scenes into quantitative and narrowband spectral channels. They have become important metrological tools in many areas of science, especially remote sensing. Here, we propose and experimentally demonstrate a snapshot spectral imager using a parallel optical processing paradigm based on arrays of metasystems. Our multi-aperture spectral imager weighs less than 20 mg and simultaneously acquires 20 image channels across the 795- to 980-nm spectral region. Each channel is formed by a metasurface-tuned filter and a metalens doublet. The doublets incorporate absorptive field stops, reducing cross-talk between image channels. We demonstrate our instrument’s capabilities with both still images and video. Narrowband filtering, necessary for the device’s operation, also mitigates chromatic aberration, a common problem in metasurface imagers. Similar instruments operating at visible wavelengths hold promise as compact, aberration-free color cameras. Parallel optical processing using metasystem arrays enables novel, compact instruments for scientific studies and consumer electronics.

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