Soon, you will be able to get a pair of 'smart' contact lenses as a team of scientists is creating a stretchable nano-scale device to manipulate light. The device from RMIT University and the University of Adelaide manipulates light to such an extent that it can filter specific colors while still being transparent and could be used in the future to make smart contact lenses.
Using the technology, high-tech lenses could one day filter harmful optical radiation without interfering with vision - or in a more advanced version, transmit data and gather live vital information or even show information like a head-up display.
‘Manipulation of light using stretchable nano-scale devices could be used in the future to make smart contact lenses or flexible ultra thin smartphone cameras.’
The light manipulation relies on creating tiny artificial crystals termed 'dielectric resonators', which are a fraction of the wavelength of light - 100-200 nanometers, or over 500 times thinner than a human hair.
Researcher Withawat Withayachumnankul said, "Manipulation of light using these artificial crystals uses precise engineering. With advanced techniques to control the properties of surfaces, they can dynamically control their filter properties, which allow them to potentially create devices for high data-rate optical communication or smart contact lenses. The current challenge is that dielectric resonators only work for specific colors, but with our flexible surface we can adjust the operation range simply by stretching it."
Lead author Philipp Gutruf said, "With this technology, we now have the ability to develop light weight wearable optical components which also allow for the creation of futuristic devices such as smart contact lenses or flexible ultra thin smartphone cameras."
The study appears in ACS Nano