A lens invented at Ohio State University enables microscopes to capture 3D images of tiny objects. Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons, courtesy of Ohio State University.
Engineers at Ohio State University
have invented a lens that enables microscopic objects to be seen from nine different angles at once to create a 3D image.
The engineers, Allen Yi, associate professor of integrated systems engineering at Ohio State, and postdoctoral researcher Lei Li, successfully recorded a 3D image of the tip of a ballpoint pen which has a diameter of about 1mm with the new design.
Here the lens captures a ballpoint pen tip that measures about 1 millimeter across. Image courtesy of Ohio State University.
The prototype lens, which is about the size of a fingernail, was milled on a precision cutting machine, however the engineers say the lens could be manufactured less expensively through traditional moulding techniques.
Allen Yi would like to develop the technology for manufactures such as the those who work in the medical testing industry, however other devices could also use the tiny lens. The two engineers have also produced a grid-shaped array of lenses made to fit an optical sensor.