Scientists Create Microscopic, Lens-less Camera

And I thought this salt-grain-sized camera was small. Cornell researchers have created an even tinier imaging device that does away with the last holdout features of traditional digital cameras.

The Planar Fourier Capture Array (PFCA) doesn’t have photosensors, as we think of them. Instead, it’s just a single piece of silicon that’s sensitive to light, and by analyzing the Fourier transform of the incidence angle (I think), an image can actually be created, at the moment with a resolution of about 20×20 pixels. That’s not enough for, say, a tiny security camera, but the thing is so small that it could be used as an “eyespot” for a robot or device, for use in orienting itself or tracking various objects.

The camera, if you can call it that, is described in more detail in a paper published in the latest issue of Optics Letters. I know you already have a copy, so get reading!

[via Physorg]