Process to Fabricate Micro-Polarizers and Waveplates on Sensor Array

Case ID:

Invention Summary:

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 uses  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. The process is simple and inexpensive compared to other micropolarizer systems.


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.


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


  • 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.


Amy Phillips

Licensing Manager, Tech Launch Arizona

Refer to case # UA11-058

Patent Information:
Imaging & Optics
For Information, Contact:
Amy Phillips
Optics Licensing Specialist
The University of Arizona
Stanley Pau
Graham Myhre
liquid crystal