The Flat Optics Revolution


Flat optics based on arrays of subwavelength spaced optical elements (metasurfaces) holds promise for the redesign of optical components into thin, planar and multifunctional elements, leading to a major reduction in size and system complexity as well as the introduction of entirely new optical functions, well beyond the capabilities of refractive optics. The planarity of flat optics will lead to the unification of semiconductor manufacturing and lens making industry, where the planar technology to manufacture computer chips will be adapted to make metasurface-based optical components, ranging from metalenses to novel polarization optics, areas where I foresee the greatest technological and scientific impact. I will provide a tutorial overview of my group’s work in this area and also emphasize the science underlying the new technology including arbitrary wavefront control and structured light (1-7).


  1. F. Capasso, Nanophotonics
  2. N. Yu and F. Capasso Nature Materials 13, 139 (2014)
  3. N. Yu et al. Science 334, 333 (2011)
  4. M. Khorasaninejad et al. Science 352, 1190 (2016)
  5. M. Khorasaninejad and F. Capasso Science 358,1146 (2017)
  6. R. C. Devlin et al. Science 358, 896 (2017)
  7. Wei-Ting Chen et al. Nature Nanotechnology (2018) doi:10.1038/s41565-017-0034-6

Federico CAPASSO
SEAS, Harvard University