Metasurfaces Come to the Market

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June 27, 2022, Stewart Wills, Optica (Formerly OSA)

In the past decade, academic research labs have published increasingly dazzling results demonstrating the rich potential of metasurfaces. These planar materials, decorated with collections of nanostructures and nanopatterns, can shape and direct light in intricately engineered ways, doing the heavy lifting of multiple optical components in a single 2D surface.

In principle, these accomplished engineered surfaces could radically reduce system size and complexity in a range of applications. But impressive as they’ve been in the lab, the use of metasurfaces in actual commercial devices has always seemed just out of reach—something that would happen at some point in the future, perhaps, but not quite today.

Now Metalenz, an early-stage company spun out of the research group of Optica Fellow Federico Capasso at Harvard University six years ago—says it has crossed that threshold.