Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Wavefront


Focal adjustment and zooming are universal features of cameras and advanced optical systems. Such tuning is usually performed longitudinally along the optical axis by mechanical or electrical control of focal length. However, the recent advent of ultrathin planar lenses based on metasurfaces (metalenses), which opens the door to future drastic miniaturization of mobile devices such as cell phones and wearable displays, mandates fundamentally different forms of tuning based on lateral motion rather than longitudinal motion. Theory shows that the strain field of a metalens substrate can be directly mapped into the outgoing optical wavefront to achieve large diffraction-limited focal length tuning and control of aberrations. We demonstrate electrically tunable large-area metalenses controlled by artificial muscles capable of simultaneously performing focal length tuning (>100%) as well as on-the-fly astigmatism and image shift corrections, which until now were only possible in electron optics. The device thickness is only 30 μm. Our results demonstrate the possibility of future optical microscopes that fully operate electronically, as well as compact optical systems that use the principles of adaptive optics to correct many orders of aberrations simultaneously.

Concepts: Optics, Microscope, Lens, Photography, Wavefront, Focal length, Photographic lens, Depth of field


PURPOSE: To assess the intrasession and intersession precision of ocular, corneal, and internal higher-order aberrations (HOAs) measured using an integrated topographer and Hartmann-Shack wavefront sensor (Topcon KR-1W) in refractive surgery candidates. SETTING: IOBA-Eye Institute, Valladolid, Spain. DESIGN: Evaluation of diagnostic technology. METHODS: To analyze intrasession repeatability, 1 experienced examiner measured eyes 9 times successively. To study intersession reproducibility, the same clinician obtained measurements from another set of eyes in 2 consecutive sessions 1 week apart. Ocular, corneal, and internal HOAs were obtained. Coma and spherical aberrations, 3rd- and 4th-order aberrations, and total HOAs were calculated for a 6.0 mm pupil diameter. RESULTS: For intrasession repeatability (75 eyes), excellent intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were obtained (ICC >0.87), except for internal primary coma (ICC = 0.75) and 3rd-order (ICC = 0.72) HOAs. Repeatability precision (1.96 × S(w)) values ranged from 0.03 μm (corneal primary spherical) to 0.08 μm (ocular primary coma). For intersession reproducibility (50 eyes), ICCs were good (>0.8) for ocular primary spherical, 3rd-order, and total higher-order aberrations; reproducibility precision values ranged from 0.06 μm (corneal primary spherical) to 0.21 μm (internal 3rd order), with internal HOAs having the lowest precision (≥0.12 μm). No systematic bias was found between examinations on different days. CONCLUSIONS: The intrasession repeatability was high; therefore, the device’s ability to measure HOAs in a reliable way was excellent. Under intersession reproducibility conditions, dependable corneal primary spherical aberrations were provided. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Concepts: Optics, Measurement, Metrology, Psychometrics, Cornea, Pupil, Wavefront, Adaptive optics


We address new optical nano-antenna systems with tunable highly directional radiation patterns. The antenna comprises a regular linear array of metal nanoparticles in the proximity of an interface with high dielectric contrast. We show that the radiation pattern of the system can be controlled by changing parameters of the excitation, such as, the polarization and/or incidence angles. In the case of excitation under the total reflection condition, the system operates as a nanoscopic source of radiation, converting the macroscopic incident plane wave front into a narrow beam of light with adjustable characteristics. We derive also simple analytical formulas which give an excellent description of the radiation pattern and provide a useful tool for analysis and antenna design.

Concepts: Optics, Fundamental physics concepts, Light, Refraction, Electromagnetic radiation, Polarization, Wavefront, Transverse wave


Laser sensing has been applied in various underwater applications, ranging from underwater detection to laser underwater communications. However, there are several great challenges when profiling underwater turbulence effects. Underwater detection is greatly affected by the turbulence effect, where the acquired image suffers excessive noise, blurring, and deformation. In this paper, we propose a novel underwater turbulence detection method based on a gated wavefront sensing technique. First, we elaborate on the operating principle of gated wavefront sensing and wavefront reconstruction. We then setup an experimental system in order to validate the feasibility of our proposed method. The effect of underwater turbulence on detection is examined at different distances, and under different turbulence levels. The experimental results obtained from our gated wavefront sensing system indicate that underwater turbulence can be detected and analyzed. The proposed gated wavefront sensing system has the advantage of a simple structure and high detection efficiency for underwater environments.

Concepts: Effect, Structure, Affect, Effects unit, Proposal, Proposals, The Advantage, Wavefront


Using a descanned, laser-induced guide star and direct wavefront sensing, we demonstrate adaptive correction of complex optical aberrations at high numerical aperture (NA) and a 14-ms update rate. This correction permits us to compensate for the rapid spatial variation in aberration often encountered in biological specimens and to recover diffraction-limited imaging over large volumes (>240 mm per side). We applied this to image fine neuronal processes and subcellular dynamics within the zebrafish brain.

Concepts: Optics, Lens, Photography, Wavefront, Adaptive optics, Aperture, F-number, Optical aberration


We improve multiphoton structured illumination microscopy using a nonlinear guide star to determine optical aberrations and a deformable mirror to correct them. We demonstrate our method on bead phantoms, cells in collagen gels, nematode larvae and embryos, Drosophila brain, and zebrafish embryos. Peak intensity is increased (up to 40-fold) and resolution recovered (up to 176 ± 10 nm laterally, 729 ± 39 nm axially) at depths ∼250 μm from the coverslip surface.

Concepts: Optics, Light, Microscope, Model organism, Mirror, Wavefront, Adaptive optics, Deformable mirror


The control and use of light polarization in optical sciences and engineering are widespread. Despite remarkable developments in polarization-resolved imaging for life sciences, their transposition to strongly scattering media is currently not possible, because of the inherent depolarization effects arising from multiple scattering. We show an unprecedented phenomenon that opens new possibilities for polarization-resolved microscopy in strongly scattering media: polarization recovery via broadband wavefront shaping. We demonstrate focusing and recovery of the original injected polarization state without using any polarizing optics at the detection. To enable molecular-level structural imaging, an arbitrary rotation of the input polarization does not degrade the quality of the focus. We further exploit the robustness of polarization recovery for structural imaging of biological tissues through scattering media. We retrieve molecular-level organization information of collagen fibers by polarization-resolved second harmonic generation, a topic of wide interest for diagnosis in biomedical optics. Ultimately, the observation of this new phenomenon paves the way for extending current polarization-based methods to strongly scattering environments.

Concepts: Optics, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Scattering, Polarization, Circular polarization, Radar, Wavefront


Adaptive optics can correct for optical aberrations. We developed multi-pupil adaptive optics (MPAO), which enables simultaneous wavefront correction over a field of view of 450 × 450 μm(2) and expands the correction area to nine times that of conventional methods. MPAO’s ability to perform spatially independent wavefront control further enables 3D nonplanar imaging. We applied MPAO to in vivo structural and functional imaging in the mouse brain.

Concepts: Scientific method, Optics, Ophthalmology, Wavefront, Adaptive optics, Science of photography, Depth of field, Optical aberration


In many optical imaging applications, it is necessary to correct for aberrations to obtain high quality images. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides access to the amplitude and phase of the backscattered optical field for three-dimensional (3D) imaging samples. Computational adaptive optics (CAO) modifies the phase of the OCT data in the spatial frequency domain to correct optical aberrations without using a deformable mirror, as is commonly done in hardware-based adaptive optics (AO). This provides improvement of image quality throughout the 3D volume, enabling imaging across greater depth ranges and in highly aberrated samples. However, the CAO aberration correction has a complicated relation to the imaging pupil and is not a direct measurement of the pupil aberrations. Here we present new methods for recovering the wavefront aberrations directly from the OCT data without the use of hardware adaptive optics. This enables both computational measurement and correction of optical aberrations.

Concepts: Optics, Phase, Lens, Polarization, Mirror, Wavefront, Adaptive optics, Deformable mirror


Wavefront sensorless (WFSless) adaptive optics (AO) systems have been widely studied in recent years. To reach optimum results, such systems require an efficient correction method. This paper presents a fast wavefront correction approach for a WFSless AO system mainly based on the linear phase diversity (PD) technique. The fast closed-loop control algorithm is set up based on the linear relationship between the drive voltage of the deformable mirror (DM) and the far-field images of the system, which is obtained through the linear PD algorithm combined with the influence function of the DM. A large number of phase screens under different turbulence strengths are simulated to test the performance of the proposed method. The numerical simulation results show that the method has fast convergence rate and strong correction ability, a few correction times can achieve good correction results, and can effectively improve the imaging quality of the system while needing fewer measurements of CCD data.

Concepts: Optics, Operations research, Numerical analysis, Mirror, Wavefront, Adaptive optics, Wavefront sensor, Deformable mirror