We are commercializing an advanced optical polymer and lensing technology, specifically for depth imaging applications. Users of 3D data are demanding depth imagers that not only scan wider areas, but also perform faster, more accurately, and at lower cost. Our proprietary Polycalc material and lens technology distinctively serves these needs. Polycalc’s optical properties widen fields-of-view, decreasing scan times. Its material properties increase thermal stability, improving accuracy. Moreover, Polycalc’s inexpensive ingredients and moldability reduce imager costs. Our lead partner in depth imaging calls Polycalc optics “a game changer.”
1.72 index Polycalc NIR/SWIR lenses and diffuser
Polycalc-NIR 5 mm, f/2.2 lens
In more detail, depth imaging is the mapping of the physical world in 3 dimensions. Applications include surveying, situational awareness, surveying, security, facial recognition, autonomous navigation, and LiDAR. Depth imaging is performed in the 800-1550 nm optical wavelength range, known as the near infrared (NIR) and shortwave infrared (SWIR).
Depth imaging is growing, but could be even more widely used f the technology were faster, simpler to use, and more economical. Scaling requires imagers that scan wide areas more quickly and accurately, and are less costly. Imager manufacturers are demanding lenses that provide wider fields-of-view and that are less susceptible to temperature changes. Manufacturers also need lower production and installation costs, so they are insisting on wafer level optics (WLO) solutions.
Our polymeric chalcogenide, or Polycalc, optical technology was developed specifically for NIR and SWIR depth imaging. Polycalc wafer level optics distinctively provides the following critical benefits:
Polycalc is a remarkable optical material. It is synthesized from two low-cost ingredients. The first is the abundant chalcogen, sulfur. The second is an organic chemical widely used in many other optical applications. Sulfur gives Polycalc its wide field-of-view and thermal stability, while the organic content provides moldability. Polycalc is shaped into precision optics by using inexpensive thermal compression molding techniques. The costs involved, at scale, are well below those incurred with any other polymer, glass, or silicon based WLO solution. Moreover, by fabricating on glass wafers, Polycalc optics can be robustly stacked, singulated, and integrated on standard CMOS imager assembly lines.
Polycalc’s underlying intellectual property is from the University of Arizona. We hold the exclusive license. We also have filed for our own intellectual property and have developed trade secret process technology. Our funding includes SBIR Phase II awards from the Unites States Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Science Foundation.