Flat optics has emerged as a key player in the area of structured light and its applications, owing to its subwavelength resolution, ease of integration, and compact footprint. Although its first generation has revolutionized conventional lenses and enabled anomalous refraction, new classes of meta-optics can now shape light and dark features of an optical field with an unprecedented level of complexity and multifunctionality. Here, we review these efforts with a focus on metasurfaces that use different properties of input light—angle of incidence and direction, polarization, phase distribution, wavelength, and nonlinear behavior—as optical knobs for tuning the output response. We discuss ongoing advances in this area as well as future challenges and prospects. These recent developments indicate that optically tunable flat optics is poised to advance adaptive camera systems, microscopes, holograms, and portable and wearable devices and may suggest new possibilities in optical communications and sensing. The development of metasurfaces has provided a route to replacing bulk optical components with thin layers of engineered materials. In a review, Dorrah and Capasso highlight some of the recent advances in wavefront shaping using multifunctional meta-optics. They focus on the ability to tune the response of the metasurface by simply tuning one or more degrees of freedom of incident light, for example, by varying its angle of incidence, polarization, wavelength, or phase. The key feature of these metasurfaces is that although they are static, they can produce a tunable response without the need for complex switching. These developments enable multifunctional and lightweight components for technologies such as augmented and virtual reality displays, drone-based sensing, and endoscopy. —ISO A review discusses methods to control the functionality of optical metasurfaces by the incident light.
Polarization, the path traced by light’s electric field vector, appears in all areas of optics. In recent decades, various technologies have enabled the precise control of light’s polarization state, even on a subwavelength scale, at optical frequencies. In this review, we provide a thorough, high-level review of the fundamentals of polarization optics and detail how the Jones calculus, alongside Fourier optics, can be used to analyze, classify, and compare these optical elements. We provide a review of work in this area across multiple technologies and research areas, including recent developments in optical metasurfaces. This review unifies a large body of work on spatially varying polarization optics and may be of interest to both researchers in optics and designers of optical systems more generally.