Research ArticleOPTICS

Metasurface-based key for computational imaging encryption

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Science Advances  21 May 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 21, eabg0363
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abg0363


Optical metasurfaces can offer high-quality multichannel displays by modulating different degrees of freedom of light, demonstrating great potential in the next generation of optical encryption and anti-counterfeiting. Different from the direct imaging modality of metasurfaces, single-pixel imaging (SPI) as a typical computational imaging technique obtains the object image from a decryption-like computational process. Here, we propose an optical encryption scheme by introducing metasurface-images (meta-images) into the encoding and decoding processes as the keys of SPI encryption. Different high-quality meta-images generated by a dual-channel Malus metasurface play the role of keys to encode multiple target images and retrieve them following the principle of SPI. Our work eliminates the conventional digital transmission process of keys in SPI encryption, enables the reusability of a single metasurface in different encryption processes, and thereby paves the way toward a high-security optical encryption between direct and indirect imaging methods.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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