Say Bye To Bumpy Smartphone Backs; World’s Thinnest Camera Lens Is Here

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Smartphones have evolved over time. We have high-end processors, full-screen displays, and stunning camera shutters. However, no matter how well the cameras perform or how amazing the quality of the pictures is, smartphone manufacturers aren't able to reduce the rear camera bump to a desired flat size.

Smallest Camera Lens Developed
 

Smallest Camera Lens Developed

But that's going to be a thing of the past now. Engineers at the University of Utah have designed and developed the thinnest lens known so far. The implications? No more bumpy backs on smartphones! The lens glass is literally flat - when compared with the conventional curved lenses that today's smartphones pack.

The lenses used in the smartphones capture light off the object, which is bent before reaching the sensor. These lenses are at least a few millimeters thick and use multiple elements, which further adds to the bump in the rear cameras. Now, electrical and computer engineering researchers from the University of Utah have developed a new type of optical lens that measures just a few microns thick.

World’s Thinnest Camera Lens

World’s Thinnest Camera Lens

The new thin lens comes with multiple tiny microstructures that directly bend the light at the sensor. The significantly thin lens measures just a few microns thick; they're so thin that it's undetectable to the human eye. In other words, about a hundred times lighter and about a thousand times thinner than the lens found in smartphones today.

The microstructures in the new camera lens produce the same results as a single curved element does. The researching team has developed a new fabrication process, a new polymer, and custom algorithms so that the multiple microstructures are positioned to redirect the light towards the camera sensor. The material used is lightweight plastic, resulting in a flat and lightweight camera lens.

Indian Engineer In Research Team
 

Indian Engineer In Research Team

The new thin lens is documented in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is co-authored by U electrical and computer engineering graduate students Monjurul Meem, Sourangsu Banerji, and Apratim Majumder. U electrical and computer engineering associate professors Rajesh Menon and Berardi Sensale Rodriguez, and U mathematics associate professor Fernando Guevara Vasquez have also contributed to the paper.

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