Conventional optical systems such as those found in cameras and microscopes use curved lenses to bend and focus light. As a result, these systems tend to be bulky and difficult to miniaturize for use in systems where space is at a premium – such as smartphones.

Flat, thin optical components based on metasurfaces offer a solution to this miniaturization problem by replacing multiple conventional lenses with a single metalens. In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast our guest is the co-founder and CEO of Metalenz, a US-based company that has commercialized optical metasurface technology.

Rob Devlin explains how the company’s optical components bend light; how they are made using standard semiconductor processing techniques; and how they are being used in a range of sensing applications.

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