Compact snapshot hyperspectral imaging with diffracted rotation

Daniel S. Jeon, Seung Hwan Baek, Shinyoung Yi, Qiang Fu, Xiong Dun, Wolfgang Heidrich, Min H. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Traditional snapshot hyperspectral imaging systems include various optical elements: a dispersive optical element (prism), a coded aperture, several relay lenses, and an imaging lens, resulting in an impractically large form factor. We seek an alternative, minimal form factor of snapshot spectral imaging based on recent advances in diffractive optical technology. We thereupon present a compact, diffraction-based snapshot hyperspectral imaging method, using only a novel diffractive optical element (DOE) in front of a conventional, bare image sensor. Our diffractive imaging method replaces the common optical elements in hyperspectral imaging with a single optical element. To this end, we tackle two main challenges: First, the traditional diffractive lenses are not suitable for color imaging under incoherent illumination due to severe chromatic aberration because the size of the point spread function (PSF) changes depending on the wavelength. By leveraging this wavelength-dependent property alternatively for hyperspectral imaging, we introduce a novel DOE design that generates an anisotropic shape of the spectrally-varying PSF. The PSF size remains virtually unchanged, but instead the PSF shape rotates as the wavelength of light changes. Second, since there is no dispersive element and no coded aperture mask, the ill-posedness of spectral reconstruction increases significantly. Thus, we propose an end-to-end network solution based on the unrolled architecture of an optimization procedure with a spatial-spectral prior, specifically designed for deconvolution-based spectral reconstruction. Finally, we demonstrate hyperspectral imaging with a fabricated DOE attached to a conventional DSLR sensor. Results show that our method compares well with other state-of-the-art hyperspectral imaging methods in terms of spectral accuracy and spatial resolution, while our compact, diffraction-based spectral imaging method uses only a single optical element on a bare image sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117
JournalACM transactions on graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Association for Computing Machinery.


  • Diffraction
  • Hyperspectral imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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