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Non-local metasurfaces for spectrally decoupled wavefront manipulation and eye tracking


Metasurface-based optical elements typically manipulate light waves by imparting space-variant changes in the amplitude and phase with a dense array of scattering nanostructures. The highly localized and low optical-quality-factor (Q) modes of nanostructures are beneficial for wavefront shaping as they afford quasi-local control over the electromagnetic fields. However, many emerging imaging, sensing, communication, display and nonlinear optics applications instead require flat, high-Q optical elements that provide substantial energy storage and a much higher degree of spectral control over the wavefront. Here, we demonstrate high-Q, non-local metasurfaces with atomically thin metasurface elements that offer notably enhanced light–matter interaction and fully decoupled optical functions at different wavelengths. We illustrate a possible use of such a flat optic in eye tracking for eyewear. Here, a metasurface patterned on a regular pair of eye glasses provides an unperturbed view of the world across the visible spectrum and redirects near-infrared light to a camera to allow imaging of the eye.

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Fig. 1: A high-Q GMR metasurface facilitates decoupled optical functions at different wavelengths and optical ET without rainbows.
Fig. 2: Spectrally selective resonant diffraction mechanism of a GMR metasurface.
Fig. 3: Experimental realization of the spectrally selective high-Q GMR metasurface and spectrally decoupled optical diffraction between NIR and VIS spectral regions.
Fig. 4: Optical ET prototype demonstration.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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We gratefully acknowledge useful discussions with P. St. Hilaire and D. Lin. This work was supported by the US Air Force (grant no. FA9550-17-1-0331) and funding from Magic Leap. Part of this work was performed at the Nano@Stanford labs, supported by the National Science Foundation under award ECCS-1542152. J.-H.S. is supported by Basic Science Research Programme through the National Research Foundation of Korea (grant no. NRF-2016R1A6A3A03012480). J.v.d.G. is supported by a Rubicon Fellowship from the Nederlandse organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO).

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Authors and Affiliations



J.-H.S. and M.L.B. conceived the research plan. J.-H.S., J.v.d.G. and S.J.K. fabricated the samples and performed all optical measurements. J.-H.S., J.v.d.G. and M.L.B. performed the data analysis and calculations. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark L. Brongersma.

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Competing interests

J.-H.S. and M.L.B. have a granted US patent on the topic of this paper (JH Song, ML Brongersma—US patent 10,890,772,2021). The other authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Peer review information Nature Nanotechnology thanks Liang Gao, Barry Silverstein and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary text sections 1–17, Figs. 1–19 and Table 1.

Supplementary Video

A real-time movie showing the diffractive, live imaging of an artificial eye taken by the ET prototype in Fig. 4.

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Song, JH., van de Groep, J., Kim, S.J. et al. Non-local metasurfaces for spectrally decoupled wavefront manipulation and eye tracking. Nat. Nanotechnol. 16, 1224–1230 (2021).

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