Nevada Patent of the Month – February 2024

Imagia Inc. is building the foundational blocks for improved computer vision technologies. The company has been developing metasurface technologies to create functional optical elements that perform mathematical convolutions passively. Thanks to this commitment to innovation, the company has recently been granted a patent. Their metasurface-based optical system promises to transform the way we perceive and manipulate optical radiation. The invention, comprising a waveguide, an optical source, and a metasurface, opens up new possibilities in various applications, from near-eye displays to light-field displays.

At its core, the optical system employs a metasurface on the second face of the waveguide, designed to receive optical radiation from the optical source. What makes this invention truly innovative is the metasurface’s ability to reflect the optical radiation back into the waveguide at an angle greater than the critical angle for total internal reflection. This enables the conveyance of optical radiation along the length of the waveguide, introducing a new paradigm in optical manipulation.

The metasurface itself is a marvel of engineering, featuring a slanted grating of angled ridges made of silicon nitride. These ridges are positioned on the waveguide, forming a one-dimensional array. Each ridge has a carefully designed structure, including a base face, a height face, and an angled face, all meticulously configured to ensure optimal reflection and conveyance of the optical radiation.

Imagia’s optical system is not limited to a specific wavelength, providing flexibility in its applications. The waveguide can be made of materials like glass or sapphire, and the optical source can be an array of lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), micro-LEDs, or organic LEDs. This versatility opens doors for applications in various fields, including near-eye displays, light-field displays, and beyond.

The manufacturing process is as innovative as the invention itself, utilizing ion beam etching in an unconventional additive process. The result is a metasurface that defies traditional limitations, offering a thin, efficient, and highly effective solution for optical manipulation.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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