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Multi-Color Spaceplates in the Visible

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posted on 2023-12-07, 17:00 authored by Masoud Pahlevaninezhad, Francesco Monticone
The ultimate miniaturization of any optical system relies on the reduction or removal of free-space gaps between optical elements. Recently, nonlocal flat optic components named spaceplates were introduced to effectively compress space for light propagation. However, space compression over the visible spectrum remains beyond the reach of current spaceplate designs due to their inherently limited operating bandwidth and functional inefficiencies in the visible range. Here, we introduce multi-color spaceplates performing achromatic space compression at three distinct color channels across the visible spectrum to markedly miniaturize color imaging systems. In this approach, we first design monochromatic spaceplates with high compression factors and high transmission amplitudes at visible wavelengths based on a scalable structure and dielectric materials widely used in the fabrication of meta-optical components. We then show that the dispersion-engineered combination of monochromatic spaceplates with suitably designed transmission responses forms multi-color spaceplates that function achromatically. The proposed multi-color spaceplates, composed of amorphous titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide layers, efficiently replace free-space volumes with compression ratios as high as 4.6, beyond what would be achievable by a continuously broadband spaceplate made of the same materials. Our strategy for designing monochromatic and multi-color spaceplates along with the presented results show that strong space-compression effects can be achieved in the visible range, and may ultimately enable a new generation of ultra-thin optical devices for various applications.

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