(EurekaAlert) Researchers have designed a new chip-based device that can shape and steer blue light with no moving parts. The device could greatly reduce the size of light projection components used for quantum information processing augmented reality and a variety of other applications.
“Our blue phased array platform can rapidly and precisely reconfigure visible light for many emerging applications, spanning holographic displays, quantum information processing and biological sensing and stimulation,” said research team leader Michal Lipson from Columbia University. “It paves the way for chip-scale light projection across the entire visible range with a large field of view and can miniaturize the current bulky optical systems.”
It is the first chip-scale optical phased array (OPA) operating at blue wavelengths using a silicon nitride platform. OPAs function like reconfigurable lenses by enabling arbitrary reconfigurations of 3D light patterns.
The new OPA was developed as part of a DARPA-funded project that aims to create a lightweight, low power head-mounted display that projects visible information onto the retina with extremely high resolution and a large field of view. This type of augmented display isn’t possible today because the light projection components used to shape and steer light are bulky and have a limited field of view.

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