Unprecedented 80-mm metalens images the Moon, marking a milestone towards mass production and industrial applications

Metasurfaces-based lenses, a.k.a. metalenses, has been considered a promising platform for next-generation imaging systems. However, a major challenge for current metalenses is their limited aperture sizes, which is a direct result of the slow, sequential electron-beam lithography process that are considered the common practice for metasurface fabrication. In a recent work led by Lidan Zhang and Shengyuan Chang et al, our group explores the possibility of mass producing large-area metalenses using deep ultraviolet (DUV) photolithography, which is the tool of the trade for modern semiconductor chip industries. Leveraging the symmetry of the metalens patterns as well as a compression algorithm for circular shapes, we are able to fabricate a metalens with 80 mm diameter, greatly exceeding the previous reported examples of large-aperture metalenses. To demonstrate the power of such large metalens, we constructed a telescope based on it and captured images of the moon. Published on Nano Letters, this work is considered as an “engineering first” (phys.org) and receives continued attention of the media, featured by multiple news outlets such as physicsworld.com and optics.org.