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Transcending shift-invariance in the paraxial regime via end-to-end inverse design of freeform nanophotonics

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posted on 2023-02-07, 17:00 authored by William F. Li, Gaurav Arya, Charles Roques-Carmes, Zin Lin, Steven G. Johnson, Marin Soljačić
Traditional optical elements and conventional metasurfaces obey shift-invariance in the paraxial regime. For imaging systems obeying paraxial shift-invariance, a small shift in input angle causes a corresponding shift in the sensor image. Shift-invariance has deep implications for the design and functionality of optical devices, such as the necessity of free space between components (as in compound objectives made of several curved surfaces). We present a method for nanophotonic inverse design of compact imaging systems whose resolution is not constrained by paraxial shift-invariance. Our method is end-to-end, in that it integrates density-based full-Maxwell topology optimization with a fully iterative elastic-net reconstruction algorithm. By the design of nanophotonic structures that scatter light in a non-shift-invariant manner, our optimized nanophotonic imaging system overcomes the limitations of paraxial shift-invariance, achieving accurate, noise-robust image reconstruction beyond shift-invariant resolution.



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