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Flat optics

Want to integrate nanoscale optical components in your innovative products such as cameras, displays or sensor systems? Imec helps you with the full development process.

For centuries, optical instruments remained bulky and expensive. They were produced by refining mechanical parts, usually in glass, that manipulate the light in order to sense, measure, make projections, ...

It’s only recently that there’s an alternative for this traditional approach: flat optics delves into the toolbox of the semiconductor industry to create nanostructures that fulfill optical functions such as focusing and color splitting – at a wavelength scale and with visible as well as infra-red light.

Imec is ready to help you with the development and integration of such flat optics components in its state-of-the art cleanrooms. And we can guide you towards large-scale manufacturing.

Get in touch

Advantages of flat optics

The main advantage of flat optics is its compactness compared to traditional macro-optics. Moreover, because flat optics components are processed using well-established techniques from the microchip industry such as lithography and thin-film deposition, manufacturing becomes cheaper and easier to upscale.

Some other advantages are:

  • high design flexibility and material flexibility
  • perfect alignment and optimization at pixel level
  • compatibility with further post processing on complex integrated circuits

Flat optics processed on 200-mm/8-inch quartz in imec’s CMOS line

Applications

The miniaturization of optical components enables their integration into complex systems-on-chip. This opens the door to product innovations in markets such as:

  • cameras: 3D, light pipes, spectral imaging, ...
  • displays: directive, 3D, microLEDs, ...
  • glasses: mirrors, diffusers, scatters, ...
  • sensors: spectrometers-on-chip, fluorescence imaging, sorting, ...

Develop your flat optics components with imec

At imec, we support the full development of flat optics components such as filters, polarizers and lenses. Based on your requests, we:

  • assess the feasibility of your flat optics component
  • design the component and develop the process
  • realize a first prototype
  • optimize the design and process technology

In our 200- and 300-mm cleanrooms, we are able to:

  • process on glass for standalone applications
  • post-process on top of device wafers for integrated applications

Ready to work with us?

Get in touch

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