Broadband Infrared Edge Detection With Engineered Metasurfaces

Metasurfaces are a new class of optical components that can potentially revolutionize the field of imaging. They are essentially thin layers of nanostructures that can manipulate light in various ways. In this article, researchers discuss how metasurfaces can be used for infrared edge detection.

Edge detection is a fundamental task in image processing to identify the boundaries between objects. It is particularly important in infrared imaging, where the lack of visible light makes it difficult to distinguish between objects. Traditional edge detection methods rely on filters or mathematical operators for visible light. However, these methods do not work well with infrared images, as they often produce blurry or inaccurate results.

The researchers propose a new method for edge detection in infrared images that uses metasurfaces. Their method combines a refractive lens with an inversely designed metasurface to create positive and negative components of a bipolar Laplacian kernel. This kernel is a mathematical operator that is specifically designed for edge detection.

The researchers demonstrate their method using two separate apertures and a single aperture using polarization multiplexing. Polarization multiplexing is a technique that allows two different colors of light to be transmitted through the same aperture. They use this technique to create two channels, one for the positive component of the kernel and one for the negative component.

The results show that the researcher’s method can produce high-quality edge detection in infrared images. The edges are sharp and well-defined, with no blurring or artifacts. This method can improve the performance of various infrared imaging applications, such as security and surveillance, medical imaging, and nondestructive testing.

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