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

Abstract

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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Acknowledgements

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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Contributions

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.

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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.

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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). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-021-00967-4

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