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Process to Fabricate Micro-Polarizers and Waveplates on Sensor Array

Case ID:
UA11-058
Description:

Background:

Patterned polarizers have a variety of applications in polarimetry, interferometry, three dimensional displays, and optical data storage. Wire-grid polarizers are by far the most common commercial products for infrared applications; however, micropatterned wire-grid polarizers have limited spatial resolution and poor performance at visible wavelengths, require complicated lithographic processing, are susceptible to defects and cannot be easily extended to non-linear polarizations. An alternative is the photo alignment of absorbing materials which can produce micron sized polarizers of high efficiency and extinction for ultra violet (UV), visible, and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. While smaller resolution alignment has been demonstrated, it is impractical for large areas.

Invention:

Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a fabrication process to create patterned polarizers for various visible wavelengths using dichroic dye in a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) host directly on an array of optical sensors. This invention demonstrates the use of multiple layers of an LPP/LCP system to create more complex polarization elements such as color circular polarizers. Waveplates of arbitrary retardance and linear and circular polarizers can be fabricated using multiple layers of LCP.  The process is simple and inexpensive compared to other micropolarizer systems.

 

Advantages:

  • The process can produce waveplates of arbitratry retardance, linear and circular polarizers
  • The process is simple and inexpensive compared to other micropolarizer systems.

 

Application:

  • Fabricate micro-polarizers and waveplates on optical filters and on sensor arrays.
  • Waveplates and polarizers for optical array sensors include CCD and CMOS.
  • Three dimensional displays, interferometry, optical storage, polarimeters, cameras.

 

Status: Patent claims have been allowed; method has been demonstrated successfully

 

Lead Inventor: Stanley Pau

 

Contact: Amy Phillips; amyp@tla.arizona.edu

Refer to case number UA11-058

 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Amy Phillips
Optics Licensing Specialist
The University of Arizona
520-626-9579
amyp@tla.arizona.edu
Inventors:
Stanley Pau
Graham Myhre
Keywords:
liquid crystal
polarimetry
polarizer
waveplate
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