Optical lens compression via transformation optics.
Transformation optics is widely associated with the design of unconventional electromagnetic devices, such as electromagnetic cloaks or concentrators. However, a wide range of conventional optical devices with potentially advantageous properties can be designed by the transformation optical approach. For example, a coordinate transformation can be introduced that compresses a region of space, resulting in an overall decrease in the thickness of an optical instrument such as a lens. The optical properties of a transformed lens, such as Fresnel reflection or aberration profile, are equivalent to those of the original lens, while the transformed lens and the bounding transformation optical material are thinner than the original lens. This approach to flattening the profile of a lens represents an advantage over the use of a higher dielectric material because it does not introduce greater Fresnel reflections or require a redesign of the basic optic. Though transformation optical media are generally anisotropic, with both electric and magnetic response, it is possible to arrive at a dielectric-only transformation optical distribution for a lens interacting with transverse-magnetic (TM) polarized light. The dielectric-only distribution can be implemented using broad-band, low-loss metamaterials. Lens designs for both a full transformation and a dielectric-only implementation are discussed and confirmed via finite-element simulations.
Roberts, DA; Kundtz, N; Smith, DR
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