New, Ultrathin Optical Devices Shape Light in Exotic Ways
Andrei Faraon, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have created silicon nanopillars devices capable of manipulating light in ways that are very difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional optical components. The devices are precisely arranged into a honeycomb pattern to create a "metasurface" that can control the paths and properties of passing light waves. Professor Faraon describes, "this new technology is very similar to the one used to print semiconductor chips onto silicon wafers, so you could conceivably manufacture millions of systems such as microscopes or cameras at a time." [Caltech story] [BBC video clip]
Professor Gharib Receives APS Fluid Dynamics Prize
Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering, has been selected to receive the 2015 Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society (APS). This prize is the highest award given by the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics for outstanding contributions to fundamental fluid dynamics research. It recognizes Professor Gharib's seminal contributions to measurement techniques in experimental fluid mechanics, elucidation of governing physical principles in flow-structure interactions and vortex dynamics, and creative application of these concepts to a variety of important problems in biological fluid dynamics and beyond.
New Thin, Flat Lenses Focus Light as Sharply as Curved Lenses
Andrei Faraon, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have created flat microlenses with performance on a par with conventional, curved lenses. Typically, lenses rely on a curved shape to bend and focus light. But in the tight spaces inside consumer electronics and fiber-optic systems, these rounded lenses can take up a lot of room. The Caltech team’s new flat lenses focus as much as 82 percent of infrared light passing through them. By comparison, previous studies have found that metallic flat lenses have efficiencies of only around a few percent. [Caltech story]