Research

What do we do?

At the Advanced Imaging Lab we are developing new optics-based techniques that can look deep into opaque samples and also around corners, by combining controlled lightsound and advanced computational approaches, going way beyond what conventional cameras can do.

The research at our group lies at the interface between physics and engineering, and focuses on developing novel computational-based optical imaging techniques to overcome the limitations of current approaches. One important challenge that we try to address is the limitations imposed by light scattering on optical microscopy. Our methods challenge some intuitive notions on randomly scattered light, such as the light reflected off walls, by showing that it is possible to use it or extract information from it for imaging.

Why do we do it?

First, because everyone wants to have superman vision (or at least a CSI 'enhance' capability to 'zoom in on that reflection')

More seriously, almost any object that we see around us in not transparent. And it is not transparent not because it absorbs light but because of light scattering, which happens at any interface between two media. That's the reason why we cannot see objects that are hidden in dense fog or below our skin, even though the scattered light seems to pass through the obstacle (like in the photograph at the top of the page), a problem of great practical importance in many fields.

Why should we succeed?

Although random, light scattering is a deterministic process, and utilizing the latest digital light control devices and computational approaches, scattering can be measured, undone, and even exploited by carefully shaping the optical light-field (as depicted in the image on the right) [1-4]. And that's exactly what we're doing.

 

Excellent recent reviews

[1] Z. Merali “Optics: Super vision”, Nature 518, 158 (2015).

[2] R. Horstmeyer et al. "Guidestar-assisted wavefront-shaping methods for focusing light into biological tissue", Nature Photonics 9, 563-571 (2015).

[3] A.P. Mosk et al. "Controlling waves in space and time for imaging and focusing in complex media", Nature Photonics 6, 283–292 (2012).

[4] D.S. Wiersma "Disordered Photonics", Nature Photonics 7, 188–196 (2013).