II-VI Incorporated has announced the introduction of high-efficiency multifunctional metalenses based on a II-VI proprietary platform that enables ultracompact optical sensors for a broad set of applications, including in consumer electronics, automotive, life sciences, and industrial markets.
Optical sensors are increasingly embedded in diverse products such as smartphones, automotive vehicles, medical diagnostics, and laser processing heads, driving the demand for more efficient miniature optical subsystems that are compact, reliable, and manufacturable at scale. II-VI’s new metalenses are diffractive optical elements (DOEs) that are flat and can achieve multiple optical functions with extremely high efficiency on a single surface for a broad range of wavelengths. In one implementation, II-VI’s metalens both collimates and splits the light from vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) into a highly uniform grid of thousands of infrared beams that are projected on the scene. Optical sensors reference these grids to accurately construct the scene in three dimensions.
“The high reliability of our glass-based DOEs are field-proven, as part of our optical communications products that we have been shipping in volume for years,” said Dr. Sanjai Parthasarathi, Chief Marketing Officer, II-VI Incorporated. “Furthermore, our metalenses can be utilized with our VCSELs to enable differentiated ultracompact 3D sensing cameras, spurring broader adoption in consumer electronics and automotive.”
II-VI’s broad portfolio of products for sensing includes infrared VCSEL chips, including multi-junction designs, from one to hundreds of emitters. II-VI VCSEL arrays are designed for low-cost non-hermetic packaging and can be reliably and cost-effectively scaled in total power by increasing the number of emitters per chip. The VCSEL arrays are available as chips or integrated with DOEs in surface-mountable modules. II-VI’s DOEs include lenses, micro-lens arrays, diffusers, and splitters. II-VI also offers thin-film filters that are used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of image sensor arrays.