Inverse-designed cm-scale achromatic polarization-insensitive metalens

June 6, 2022
Achromatic inverse-designed large-area metalens

Current achromatic metalenses are typically small and bounded to tens to hundreds of micrometers in diameter – the size of a few pollen grains in a row. In this study, we demonstrate a high throughput inverse design framework that is able to design large-scale complex metasurfaces to the cm scale for the visible, which corresponds to 20 000 times the wavelengths. The inverse design framework takes advantage of machine intelligence instead of our physical intuition, and the whole process takes less than a day using a single-CPU laptop, making it accessible to the general public. The resulting metalenses are engineered to exhibit poly-chromatic focusing in the visible, and the focusing is polarization-insensitive despite the use of anisotropic building blocks. Such large-scale functional meta-optics are desired for many applications. We also show a path towards a next-generation compact, lightweight, and high-resolution virtual reality device by coupling the metalenses to a home-built micro-LCD display with laser back-illumination. These technologies have the potential to reshape our daily life in the not-too-distant future.

The research was published in Nature Communincations and is also reported in a Harvard SEAS news article.