Compact angle-resolved metasurface spectrometer

Nat Mater. 2024 Jan;23(1):71-78. doi: 10.1038/s41563-023-01710-1. Epub 2023 Nov 2.


Light scattered or radiated from a material carries valuable information on the said material. Such information can be uncovered by measuring the light field at different angles and frequencies. However, this technique typically requires a large optical apparatus, hampering the widespread use of angle-resolved spectroscopy beyond the lab. Here we demonstrate compact angle-resolved spectral imaging by combining a tunable metasurface-based spectrometer array and a metalens. With this approach, even with a miniaturized spectrometer footprint of only 4 × 4 μm2, we demonstrate a wavelength accuracy of 0.17 nm, spectral resolution of 0.4 nm and a linear dynamic range of 149 dB. Moreover, our spectrometer has a detection limit of 1.2 fJ, and can be patterned to an array for spectral imaging. Placing such a spectrometer array directly at the back focal plane of a metalens, we achieve an angular resolution of 4.88 × 10-3 rad. Our angle-resolved spectrometers empowered by metalenses can be employed towards enhancing advanced optical imaging and spectral analysis applications.