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  1. Abstract

    Endoscopes are an important component for the development of minimally invasive surgeries. Their size is one of the most critical aspects, because smaller and less rigid endoscopes enable higher agility, facilitate larger accessibility, and induce less stress on the surrounding tissue. In all existing endoscopes, the size of the optics poses a major limitation in miniaturization of the imaging system. Not only is making small optics difficult, but their performance also degrades with downscaling. Meta-optics have recently emerged as a promising candidate to drastically miniaturize optics while achieving similar functionalities with significantly reduced size. Herein, we report an inverse-designed meta-optic, which combined with a coherent fiber bundle enables a 33% reduction in the rigid tip length over traditional gradient-index (GRIN) lenses. We use the meta-optic fiber endoscope (MOFIE) to demonstrate real-time video capture in full visible color, the spatial resolution of which is primarily limited by the fiber itself. Our work shows the potential of meta-optics for integration and miniaturization of biomedical devices towards minimally invasive surgery.

     
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  2. Abstract

    Nano-optic imagers that modulate light at sub-wavelength scales could enable new applications in diverse domains ranging from robotics to medicine. Although metasurface optics offer a path to such ultra-small imagers, existing methods have achieved image quality far worse than bulky refractive alternatives, fundamentally limited by aberrations at large apertures and low f-numbers. In this work, we close this performance gap by introducing a neural nano-optics imager. We devise a fully differentiable learning framework that learns a metasurface physical structure in conjunction with a neural feature-based image reconstruction algorithm. Experimentally validating the proposed method, we achieve an order of magnitude lower reconstruction error than existing approaches. As such, we present a high-quality, nano-optic imager that combines the widest field-of-view for full-color metasurface operation while simultaneously achieving the largest demonstrated aperture of 0.5 mm at an f-number of 2.

     
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  4. Tasks across diverse application domains can be posed as large-scale optimization problems, these include graphics, vision, machine learning, imaging, health, scheduling, planning, and energy system forecasting. Independently of the application domain, proximal algorithms have emerged as a formal optimization method that successfully solves a wide array of existing problems, often exploiting problem-specific structures in the optimization. Although model-based formal optimization provides a principled approach to problem modeling with convergence guarantees, at first glance, this seems to be at odds with black-box deep learning methods. A recent line of work shows that, when combined with learning-based ingredients, model-based optimization methods are effective, interpretable, and allow for generalization to a wide spectrum of applications with little or no extra training data. However, experimenting with such hybrid approaches for different tasks by hand requires domain expertise in both proximal optimization and deep learning, which is often error-prone and time-consuming. Moreover, naively unrolling these iterative methods produces lengthy compute graphs, which when differentiated via autograd techniques results in exploding memory consumption, making batch-based training challenging. In this work, we introduce ∇-Prox, a domain-specific modeling language and compiler for large-scale optimization problems using differentiable proximal algorithms. ∇-Prox allows users to specify optimization objective functions of unknowns concisely at a high level, and intelligently compiles the problem into compute and memory-efficient differentiable solvers. One of the core features of ∇-Prox is its full differentiability, which supports hybrid model- and learning-based solvers integrating proximal optimization with neural network pipelines. Example applications of this methodology include learning-based priors and/or sample-dependent inner-loop optimization schedulers, learned with deep equilibrium learning or deep reinforcement learning. With a few lines of code, we show ∇-Prox can generate performant solvers for a range of image optimization problems, including end-to-end computational optics, image deraining, and compressive magnetic resonance imaging. We also demonstrate ∇-Prox can be used in a completely orthogonal application domain of energy system planning, an essential task in the energy crisis and the clean energy transition, where it outperforms state-of-the-art CVXPY and commercial Gurobi solvers. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  5. The HIL design allows building miniature color camera with hybrid metaoptics, achieving high-quality imaging. 
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  6. A broad range of imaging and sensing technologies in the infrared require large field-of-view (FoV) operation. To achieve this, traditional refractive systems often employ multiple elements to compensate for aberrations, which leads to excess size, weight, and cost. For many applications, including night vision eye-wear, air-borne surveillance, and autonomous navigation for unmanned aerial vehicles, size and weight are highly constrained. Sub-wavelength diffractive optics, also known as meta-optics, can dramatically reduce the size, weight, and cost of these imaging systems, as meta-optics are significantly thinner and lighter than traditional refractive lenses. Here, we demonstrate 80° FoV thermal imaging in the long-wavelength infrared regime (8–12 µm) using an all-silicon meta-optic with an entrance aperture and lens focal length of 1 cm. 
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  7. Extended depth of focus (EDOF) optics can enable lower complexity optical imaging systems when compared to active focusing solutions. With existing EDOF optics, however, it is difficult to achieve high resolution and high collection efficiency simultaneously. The subwavelength spacing of scatterers in a meta-optic enables the engineering of very steep phase gradients; thus, meta-optics can achieve both a large physical aperture and a high numerical aperture. Here, we demonstrate a fast(f/1.75)EDOF meta-optic operating at visible wavelengths, with an aperture of 2 mm and focal range from 3.5 mm to 14.5 mm (286 diopters to 69 diopters), which is a250×elongation of the depth of focus relative to a standard lens. Depth-independent performance is shown by imaging at a range of finite conjugates, with a minimum spatial resolution of9.84  μm(50.8 cycles/mm). We also demonstrate operation of a directly integrated EDOF meta-optic camera module to evaluate imaging at multiple object distances, a functionality which would otherwise require a varifocal lens.

     
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  9. Abstract We report an inverse-designed, high numerical aperture (∼0.44), extended depth of focus (EDOF) meta-optic, which exhibits a lens-like point spread function (PSF). The EDOF meta-optic maintains a focusing efficiency comparable to that of a hyperboloid metalens throughout its depth of focus. Exploiting the extended depth of focus and computational post processing, we demonstrate broadband imaging across the full visible spectrum using a 1 mm, f/1 meta-optic. Unlike other canonical EDOF meta-optics, characterized by phase masks such as a log-asphere or cubic function, our design exhibits a highly invariant PSF across ∼290 nm optical bandwidth, which leads to significantly improved image quality, as quantified by structural similarity metrics. 
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