Metalenses are used in industrial and scientific laboratories for many purposes. They are available in several forms. They can be thin sheets of plastic or metal with a metal oxide coating on the surface. Larger metalenses, such as sheet metal rods, are used for applications requiring rigid shapes. The metalenses can be bent into various shapes as well, but these bendable metals are most commonly used for mechanical components, such as wheels on a rolled truck or conveyor belts on a pallet. These versatile metalenses also make good components for scientific experiments, such as mini-microscopes.
Benefits of using metalenses
- One of the key benefits of using metalenses is their versatility.
- A flat surface with a layer of metal in between will produce different viewing angles than flat surfaces without metalenses. For example, a lens with two flat surfaces and one retaliated layer produces a viewing angle that is nearly parallel to both flat surfaces, while a lens with just a single flat surface produces a viewing angle that is perpendicular to both flat surfaces.
- Thus, when a scientist needs to examine a very large number of closely spaced samples, using the metalenses is an economical solution.
There are a variety of uses for Metalenses in scientific laboratories. Flat lenses with retaliated coatings are useful for image guided microscopy. This type of microscope allows scientists to view specimens in the field without having to worry about aberrations or distortion caused by the specimen’s shape. Many times, the aberrations result from the sample being held at an angle where the light already exists in the specimen. When the scientist moves the specimen, however, the aberrations are often magnified because the light already exists in the specimen. Metalenses, with their flat surfaces, can reduce the amount of light that bends and refracts so that only the electrons in the lens have the chance to exit the lens and hit the electron film.
Another great application for metalenses is with the development of photoelectric microscopes. These microscopes use light to create images of living matter; the electrons in the metalenses absorb and reflect specific wavelengths of light, depending on their orientation. By properly adjusting the wavelengths, the scientists are able to control the thickness and sharpness of the lens. The ability to focus light in a controlled fashion is essential when using a photoelectric microscope, which is why metalenses are often used as controls.