3 March 2014 Bio-inspired hemispherical compound eye camera
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Compound eyes in arthropods demonstrate distinct imaging characteristics from human eyes, with wide angle field of view, low aberrations, high acuity to motion and infinite depth of field. Artificial imaging systems with similar geometries and properties are of great interest for many applications. However, the challenges in building such systems with hemispherical, compound apposition layouts cannot be met through established planar sensor technologies and conventional optics. We present our recent progress in combining optics, materials, mechanics and integration schemes to build fully functional artificial compound eye cameras. Nearly full hemispherical shapes (about 160 degrees) with densely packed artificial ommatidia were realized. The number of ommatidia (180) is comparable to those of the eyes of fire ants and bark beetles. The devices combine elastomeric compound optical elements with deformable arrays of thin silicon photodetectors, which were fabricated in the planar geometries and then integrated and elastically transformed to hemispherical shapes. Imaging results and quantitative ray-tracing-based simulations illustrate key features of operation. These general strategies seem to be applicable to other compound eye devices, such as those inspired by moths and lacewings (refracting superposition eyes), lobster and shrimp (reflecting superposition eyes), and houseflies (neural superposition eyes).
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Jianliang Xiao, Jianliang Xiao, Young Min Song, Young Min Song, Yizhu Xie, Yizhu Xie, Viktor Malyarchuk, Viktor Malyarchuk, Inhwa Jung, Inhwa Jung, Ki-Joong Choi, Ki-Joong Choi, Zhuangjian Liu, Zhuangjian Liu, Hyunsung Park, Hyunsung Park, Chaofeng Lu, Chaofeng Lu, Rak-Hwan Kim, Rak-Hwan Kim, Rui Li, Rui Li, Kenneth B. Crozier, Kenneth B. Crozier, Yonggang Huang, Yonggang Huang, John A. Rogers, John A. Rogers, "Bio-inspired hemispherical compound eye camera", Proc. SPIE 8958, Bioinspired, Biointegrated, Bioengineered Photonic Devices II, 89580A (3 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2041112; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2041112

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