VINSE deputy director featured in Nature Photonics
A research team of Vanderbilt engineers that includes a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated a new ultrathin filter, based on metamaterials, that allows for analog optical image processing. Their work, Flat Optics for Image Differentiation, appears today in the scientific journal, Nature Photonics.
While digital image processing has become the prevailing technique in a variety of science and engineering disciplines, it requires advanced computers, space to accommodate the computer, and substantial power.
The metamaterial filter, the first of its kind, differentiates the incoming light directly, allowing one to directly image the edges, or boundaries, of the object.“Most image processing is performed digitally, but optical analog processing has the advantages of being low power and high speed,” said Jason Valentine, associate professor of mechanical engineering and deputy director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. While optical image processing has been performed in the past it generally requires multiple optical lenses resulting in a large system size.