Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Science of photography


This paper reports a controlled breakdown (CBD) method to fabricate multiple nanopores in a silicon nitride (SiNx) membrane with control over both nanopore count and nanopore diameter. Despite the stochastic process of the breakdown, we found that the nanopores created via CBD, tend to be of the same diameter. We propose a membrane resistance model to explain and control the multiple nanopores forming in the membrane. We prove that the membrane resistance can reflect the number of nanopores in the membrane and that the diameter of the nanopores is controlled by the exposure time and strength of the electric field. This controllable multiple nanopore formation via CBD avoids the utilization of complicated instruments and time-intensive manufacturing. We anticipate CBD has the potential to become a nanopore fabrication technique which, integrated into an optical setup, could be used as a high-throughput and multichannel characterization technique.

Concepts: Scientific method, Semiconductor, Control theory, Control, Control system, Shutter speed, Science of photography, Nanopore


To experimentally compare the optical performance of three types of hydrophobic intraocular lenses (IOLs): extended depth of focus, bifocal, and trifocal.

Concepts: Optics, Presbyopia, Focus, Intraocular lens, Science of photography, Depth of field


We report on the design of an off-axis three-mirror freeform telescope with a large field of view (FOV) based on an integration mirror (IM). This design is the continuation of the authors' previous work. Based on aberration theory, we established a suitable nonrelayed three-mirror-anastigmat initial configuration for integration mirror design. For an optical freeform surface, we analyzed the qualitative aberration correction ability of a x-y polynomial surface that can provide a simple, convenient, and user-friendly relationship between freeform surface term coefficients and aberrations and then applied the x-y polynomial surface on the tertiary mirror to improve the system optimization degrees of freedom. In an example with a focal length of 1200 mm, an F-number of 12, and a FOV of 1°×30°, the tolerance performance was analyzed, and the system presented a good imaging performance. In addition, the IM structure and opto-mechanics support structure were designed and analyzed. The confirmatory design results showed that the integration of the primary mirror and tertiary mirror can improve opto-mechanical properties judged by multiple criteria. In conclusion, the integration of the primary mirror and tertiary mirror not only offers alignment convenience as described previously but also improves system opto-mechanical properties in multiple perspectives. We believe this large linear FOV system based on IM has broad future applications in the optical remote sensing field.

Concepts: Optics, Lens, Focal length, Angle of view, Science of photography, F-number, Depth of field


Field of view and accommodative focus are two fundamental attributes of many imaging systems, ranging from human eyes to microscopes. Here, we present arrays of Fresnel zone plates fabricated on a flexible substrate, which allows for the adjustment of both the field of view and optical focus. Such zone plates function as compact and lightweight microlenses and are fabricated using silicon nanowires. Inspired by compound eyes in nature, these microlenses are designed to point along various angles in order to capture images, offering an exceptionally wide field of view. Moreover, by flexing the substrate, the lens position can be adjusted, thus achieving axial focus scanning. An array of microlenses on a flexible substrate was incorporated into an optical system to demonstrate high resolution imaging of objects located at different axial and angular positions. These silicon based microlenses could be integrated with electronics and have a wide range of potential applications, from medical imaging to surveillance.

Concepts: Diffraction, Optics, Eye, Lens, Focal length, Science of photography, Aperture, Fresnel diffraction


Pixel count is the ratio of the solid angle within a camera’s field of view to the solid angle covered by a single detector element. Because the size of the smallest resolvable pixel is proportional to aperture diameter and the maximum field of view is scale independent, the diffraction-limited pixel count is proportional to aperture area. At present, digital cameras operate near the fundamental limit of 1-10 megapixels for millimetre-scale apertures, but few approach the corresponding limits of 1-100 gigapixels for centimetre-scale apertures. Barriers to high-pixel-count imaging include scale-dependent geometric aberrations, the cost and complexity of gigapixel sensor arrays, and the computational and communications challenge of gigapixel image management. Here we describe the AWARE-2 camera, which uses a 16-mm entrance aperture to capture snapshot, one-gigapixel images at three frames per minute. AWARE-2 uses a parallel array of microcameras to reduce the problems of gigapixel imaging to those of megapixel imaging, which are more tractable. In cameras of conventional design, lens speed and field of view decrease as lens scale increases, but with the experimental system described here we confirm previous theoretical results suggesting that lens speed and field of view can be scale independent in microcamera-based imagers resolving up to 50 gigapixels. Ubiquitous gigapixel cameras may transform the central challenge of photography from the question of where to point the camera to that of how to mine the data.

Concepts: Optics, Photography, Camera, Photographic lens, Pixel, Science of photography, Aperture, F-number


Adaptive optics can correct for optical aberrations. We developed multi-pupil adaptive optics (MPAO), which enables simultaneous wavefront correction over a field of view of 450 × 450 μm(2) and expands the correction area to nine times that of conventional methods. MPAO’s ability to perform spatially independent wavefront control further enables 3D nonplanar imaging. We applied MPAO to in vivo structural and functional imaging in the mouse brain.

Concepts: Scientific method, Optics, Ophthalmology, Wavefront, Adaptive optics, Science of photography, Depth of field, Optical aberration


We report a method of high-speed phase contrast and bright field microscopy which permits large cell culture vessels to be scanned at much higher speed (up to 30 times faster) than when conventional methods are used without compromising image quality. The object under investigation moves continuously and is captured using a flash illumination which creates an exposure time short enough to prevent motion blur. During the scan the object always stays in focus due to a novel hardware-autofocus system.

Concepts: Microscope, 2002 albums, Microscopy, Exposure, Photography, Debut albums, Science of photography, Aperture


Mechanical arm systems are commonly used to support powered hand tools to alleviate ergonomic stressors related to the development of workplace musculoskeletal disorders. However, the use of these systems can increase exposure times to other potentially harmful agents such as hand-transmitted vibration. To examine how these tool support systems affect tool vibration, the primary objectives of this study were to characterize the vibration emissions of typical portable pneumatic grinders used for surface grinding with and without a mechanical arm support system at a workplace and to estimate the potential risk of the increased vibration exposure time afforded by the use of these mechanical arm systems. This study also developed a laboratory-based simulated grinding task based on the ISO 28927-1 (2009) standard for assessing grinder vibrations; the simulated grinding vibrations were compared with those measured during actual workplace grinder operations. The results of this study demonstrate that use of the mechanical arm may provide a health benefit by reducing the forces required to lift and maneuver the tools and by decreasing hand-transmitted vibration exposure. However, the arm does not substantially change the basic characteristics of grinder vibration spectra. The mechanical arm reduced the average frequency-weighted acceleration by about 24% in the workplace and by about 7% in the laboratory. Because use of the mechanical arm system can increase daily time-on-task by 50% or more, the use of such systems may actually increase daily time-weighted hand-transmitted vibration exposures in some cases. The laboratory acceleration measurements were substantially lower than the workplace measurements, and the laboratory tool rankings based on acceleration were considerably different than those from the workplace. Thus, it is doubtful that ISO 28927-1 is useful for estimating workplace grinder vibration exposures or for predicting workplace grinder acceleration rank orders.

Concepts: Measurement, Shock, Estimation, Exposure, Vibration, International Organization for Standardization, Science of photography, F-number


The influence of plasma exposure on structural, morphological and optical properties of copper (II) acetylacetonate thin films deposited by thermal evaporation technique was investigated. Copper (II) acetylacetonate as-grown thin films were exposed to the atmospheric plasma for different times. The exposure of as-grown cu(acac)2 thin film to atmospheric plasma for 5min modified its structural, morphological and optical properties. The effect of plasma exposure on structure and roughness of cu(acac)2 thin films was evaluated by XRD and AFM techniques, respectively. The XRD results showed an increment in crystallinity due to exposure for 5min, but, when the exposure time reaches 10min, the film was transformed to an amorphous state. The AFM results revealed a strong modification of films roughness when the average roughness decreased from 63.35nm to ~1nm as a result of interaction with plasma. The optical properties of as-grown and plasma exposured cu(acac)2 thin films were studied using spectrophotometric method. The exposure of cu(acac)2 thin films to plasma produced the indirect energy gap decrease from 3.20eV to 2.67eV for 10min exposure time. The dispersion parameters were evaluated in terms of single oscillator model for as-grown and plasma exposured thin films. The influence of plasma exposure on third order optical susceptibility was studied.

Concepts: Optics, Semiconductor, Photography, Shutter speed, Science of photography, Aperture, F-number, Sputtering


Human ability to visualize an image is usually hindered by optical scattering. Recent extensive studies have promoted imaging technique through turbid materials to a reality where color image can be restored behind scattering media in real time. The big challenge now is to recover objects in a large field of view with depth resolving ability. Based on the existing research results, we systematically study the physical relationship between speckles generated from objects at different planes. By manipulating a given single point spread function, depth-resolved imaging through a thin scattering medium can be extended beyond the original depth of field (DOF). Experimental testing of standard scattering media shows that the DOF can be extended up to 5 times and the physical mechanism is depicted. This extended DOF is benefit to 3D imaging through scattering environment, and it is expected to have important applications in science, technology, bio-medical, security and defense.

Concepts: Optics, Eye, Vision, Reality, Photography, Binocular vision, Science of photography, Depth of field