Ohio Patent of the Month – January 2024

Based out of the University of Dayton, Exciting Technology LLC has been advancing the lasercom and LiDAR fields for over 15 years. 

Recently, the company has been granted a patent for their non-mechanical optical and photonic beam steering. This revolutionary invention presents a sophisticated electro-optic (EO) substrate layer, equipped with an EO active material that includes a strategic arrangement of thin and thick EO active elements.

Existing beam steering systems have numerous limitations. Mechanically steered systems have many moving parts and poor response times. Non-mechanical systems have limited steering capability and efficiency. Exciting Technology’s solution addresses these limitations, achieving new levels of control and performance.

The system’s high-side electrode layer boasts discrete electrodes intricately associated with the thick EO active elements, positioned on one side of the EO substrate layer. These electrodes are designed to apply a modulo 2πn beam steering to the EO active elements, showcasing a level of precision that sets this technology apart.

What sets this invention apart is the meticulous design of each element. The thick EO active elements have identical thickness, as do the thin EO active elements. This uniformity contributes to the system’s efficiency and reliability. Moreover, the thin EO active elements have a thickness precisely tuned to one wavelength corresponding to a target electromagnetic (EM) frequency, while the thick EO active elements have a thickness of two wavelengths for the same target frequency.

Excitingly, this technology extends its capabilities by introducing a second EO substrate layer, further diversifying its applications. The inventive approach involves aligning the two substrate layers in a way that enhances the system’s versatility, allowing for non-aligned thick EO active elements and opening doors to more complex functionalities.

The system incorporates resistive electrodes in its design, applying a modulo 2πn beam steering according to a half-wave voltage profile. This not only enhances the precision of the beam steering but also contributes to the overall sustainability of the technology.

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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