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NIL Technologies Reports 94% Efficiency in Meta-Optical Lens

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Oct. 13, 2021 — Optical solutions company NIL Technology (NILT) reports that is has designed, built, and characterized multiple meta-optical element (MOE) lenses with 94% absolute efficiency. The demonstration was done with 940-nm NIR lens, with results being heralded as a major milestone for the commercial use of metalenses. NILT said in a press release that the metalenses are the first flat lenses that can compete with refractive optics.
Surface of a meta-optical element developed by NIL Technologies. Courtesy of NIL Technologies.
Surface of a meta-optical element developed by NIL Technologies. The company said the lenses are ready to be delivered and mass produced. Courtesy of NIL Technologies. 

NILT added that the lenses are ready to be delivered and mass produced, and they can be designed with complete phase functions. Also, multi-MOE stacked components can be designed to required specifications. The MOE itself is made in silicon on a glass substrate, which makes it strong, rigid, reliable, and thermally stable, the company said. It can be customized for wavelengths in the NIR and SWIR bands.

The entire process of MOE production from design, prototyping, assembly, and mass production is done internally. Mass production is done by nanoimprint lithography, which, unlike semiconductor processes, imposes no restrictions on meta-atom geometries such as size, shape, and location. This ensures best-performing MOEs based on current design techniques and greater freedom for innovation. Further, the nanoimprint lithography process enables NILT to mass produce without reliance on capital-intensive equipment such as deep UV lithography systems.

Published: October 2021
Glossary
metalens
A metalens, short for "metasurface lens," is a type of optical lens that uses nanostructured materials to manipulate light at a subwavelength scale. Unlike traditional lenses made of glass or other transparent materials, metalenses do not rely on the curvature of their surface to refract or focus light. Instead, they use carefully engineered patterns of nanostructures, such as nanoscale antennas or dielectric structures, to control the phase and amplitude of light across the lens's surface....
near-infrared
The shortest wavelengths of the infrared region, nominally 0.75 to 3 µm.
efficiency
As applied to a device or machine, the ratio of total power input to the usable power output of the device.
BusinessOpticsmetalensmeta-optical elementNIRnear-infraredSWIRcustomizeablemass productionnanoimprint lithographyMOEDUV lithographyNILNILTNIL TechnologylithographyLasersefficiency

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