PhotoniX, Volume. 4, Issue 1, 10(2023)

Different channels to transmit information in scattering media

Xuyu Zhang1,2, Jingjing Gao1,3, Yu Gan1,3, Chunyuan Song1,3, Dawei Zhang2、*, Songlin Zhuang2, Shensheng Han1,3,4, Puxiang Lai5,6,7、**, and Honglin Liu1,3,6、***
Author Affiliations
  • 1Key Laboratory for Quantum Optics, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
  • 2Engineering Research Center of Optical Instrument and System, The Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Modern Optical Systems, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai 200093, China
  • 3Center of Materials Science and Optoelectronics Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 4Hangzhou Institute for Advanced study, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hangzhou 310024, China
  • 5Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • 6Hong Kong Polytechnic University Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, 518000, China
  • 7Photonics Research Institute, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China
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    A communication channel should be built to transmit information from one place to another. Imaging is 2 or higher dimensional information communication. Conventionally, an imaging channel comprises a lens with free space at its both sides, whose transfer function is usually known and hence the response of the imaging channel can be well defined. Replacing the lens with a thin scattering medium, the image can still be extracted from the detected optical field, suggesting that the scattering medium retains or reconstructs not only energy but also information transmission channels. Aided by deep learning, we find that unlike the lens system, there are different channels in a scattering medium: the same scattering medium can construct different channels to match the manners of source coding. Moreover, it is found that without a valid channel, the convolution law for a spatial shift-invariant system (the output is the convolution of the point spread function and the input object) is broken, and in this scenario, information cannot be transmitted onto the detection plane. Therefore, valid channels are essential to transmit information through even a spatial shift-invariant system. These findings may intrigue new adventures in imaging through scattering media and reevaluation of the known spatial shift-invariance in various areas.


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    Xuyu Zhang, Jingjing Gao, Yu Gan, Chunyuan Song, Dawei Zhang, Songlin Zhuang, Shensheng Han, Puxiang Lai, Honglin Liu. Different channels to transmit information in scattering media[J]. PhotoniX, 2023, 4(1): 10

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    Paper Information

    Category: Research Articles

    Received: Nov. 28, 2022

    Accepted: Feb. 11, 2023

    Published Online: Jul. 10, 2023

    The Author Email: Zhang Dawei (, Lai Puxiang (, Liu Honglin (