ZJU research among China's top ten achievements in applied optics

2018-03-21 Global Communications

Research led by Dr. RUAN Zhichao, a professor of physics from ZJU, has been listed among the 2017 Top 10 Scientific Achievements of China in Applied Optics.

Group photo of honored researchers

In a paper titled “Plasmonic Computing of Spatial Differentiation”, the team revealed that the interference effects associated with surface plasmon excitations at a single metal–dielectric interface can perform spatial differentiation. They experimentally demonstrated edge detection of an image without any Fourier lens. This work points to a simple yet powerful mechanism for optical analog computing at the nanoscale.

Over the past few years, optical analog computing has attracted particular attention and offers high-throughput low-power-consumption operation for specialized computational tasks. Due to the structure complexity of the metamaterials, direct experimental demonstration of image processing is extremely challenging.

The resolution of the edge detection is about 7 μm. It is therefore an ultrafast optical computing scheme with a sufficient space-bandwidth product that is capable of processing an entire image on a single shot. This technology is critically important for high-throughput real-time image processing. It is also expected to enjoy extensive applications in the domains of artificial intelligence, including optical neural networks and high-speed pattern recognition.

Starting with a pool of 100 nominees, a distinguished jury selected the annual top 10 cutting-edge research findings in applied optics. The selection was launched by Chinese Laser Press in 2005.