NANOANTENNA SPATIAL LIGHT MODULATORS FOR NEXT GENERATION AR/VR AND HOLOGRAPHIC DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES (NSLM)

Introduction

Optical nanoantennas and phased nanoantenna arrays (also called metasurfaces) have recently emerged as a promising approach to control light phase and amplitude at sub-wavelength dimensions. Similar to their conventional analogues working at radio frequencies, radio-antennas, the nanoantennas make use of their resonance behavior to collect and emit light as well as to manipulate its phase, polarization and amplitude at dimensions smaller than the light wavelength. When these nanoantennas are arranged in an array, light wavefront control with sub-wavelength resolution and pixel size can be realized. These concepts have already been experimentally proven for pre-defined nanoantenna arrangements, which can perform a fixed predefined function such as transforming a plane wavefront into a focused one, bending it or generating a holographic image. The unsolved challenge, however, is being able to tune each of these nanoantennas independently and dynamically manipulate the wavefront of light in such nanoantenna spatial light modulator (NSLM). 

Aim of the programme

The goal of the programme is to develop and integrate the first fully working prototype of a nanoantenna-based spatial light modulator (NSLM) in which each pixel has sub-wavelength dimensions – being formed by a single (or a few) nanoantennas that are dynamically switchable by external electrical signals.

NSLM Aim
  • Development and integration of a fully functional NSLM with sub-wavelength pixel size:
    • Design of switchable nanoantennas (led by Dr. Ramon Paniagua Dominguez, IMRE)
      Integrated circuit design (led by Dr. Kevin T. C. Chai, IME)
    • Prototyping - nanoantenna fab on CMOS backplane - and characterization (led by Dr. Arseniy I. Kuznetsov, IMRE)
    • Advanced compact chip packaging (led by Mr. Vempati Srinivasa Rao, IME)
      System integration in:
      • AR/VR devices (led by Dr. Fong Wee Teck, I2R)
      • Holographic displays (led by Assoc. Prof. Zheng Yuanjing, NTU)
  • Development of large scale fabrication of nanoantennas and metasurfaces:
    • Large-scale fabrication of nanoantennas using nanoimprint lithography (led by Dr. Liu Hong, IMRE)
    • Large-scale fabrication of nanoantennas using 12-inch immersion photolithography (led by Dr. Judy Lin Qun Ying, IME)
  • Development of novel material platforms for ultra-fast switchable nanoantennas:
    • Novel phase-change materials for tunable nanoantennas at visible and infra-red frequencies (led by Asst. Prof. Robert E. Simpson, SUTD)
    • Perovskites for tunable nanoantennas at visible and infra-red frequencies (led by Assoc. Prof. Cesare Soci, NTU)
    • Integrated semiconductor platforms for ultrafast electrical tuning of nanoantennas at near/mid-infrared frequencies (led by Assoc. Prof. Wang Qijie, NTU)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled adaptive wave-front shaping and optimized tunable nanoantennas (led by by Assoc. Prof. Zheng Yuanjing, NTU).

Introduction

Optical nanoantennas and phased nanoantenna arrays (also called metasurfaces) have recently emerged as a promising approach to control light phase and amplitude at sub-wavelength dimensions. Similar to their conventional analogues working at radio frequencies, radio-antennas, the nanoantennas make use of their resonance behavior to collect and emit light as well as to manipulate its phase, polarization and amplitude at dimensions smaller than the light wavelength. When these nanoantennas are arranged in an array, light wavefront control with sub-wavelength resolution and pixel size can be realized. These concepts have already been experimentally proven for pre-defined nanoantenna arrangements, which can perform a fixed predefined function such as transforming a plane wavefront into a focused one, bending it or generating a holographic image. The unsolved challenge, however, is being able to tune each of these nanoantennas independently and dynamically manipulate the wavefront of light in such nanoantenna spatial light modulator (NSLM). 

Aim of the programme

The goal of the programme is to develop and integrate the first fully working prototype of a nanoantenna-based spatial light modulator (NSLM) in which each pixel has sub-wavelength dimensions – being formed by a single (or a few) nanoantennas that are dynamically switchable by external electrical signals.

NSLM Aim

Potential industrial impact 

 

Upon programme completion, the developed next-generation SLM devices can potentially solve major bottlenecks of current AR/VR and holographic display technologies, such as limited field of view, resolution and focal depths, thus boosting the user experience and leading to their mass adoption, which can truly change the game for the information, communication and entertainment industries. Going beyond, those high-speed, high-resolution SLM devices might find applications in emerging sectors such as 3D ranging and LIDAR, free-space optical communications and LIFI, and many more.

Programme scope and participants

The programme builds up on a strong and multi-disciplinary team, with expertise ranging from nanophotonics, nanofabrication and materials science, to integrated circuit design, advanced optical packaging and system integration. 


nslm-scope

 In order to achieve its final goal, the programme is organized in four different thrusts, each having a separated, but interrelated, scope, as depicted below. In short, these thrusts are:

  • Development and integration of a fully functional NSLM with sub-wavelength pixel size:
    Design of switchable nanoantennas (led by Dr. Ramon Paniagua Dominguez, IMRE)
    Integrated circuit design (led by Dr. Kevin T. C. Chai, IME)
    Prototyping - nanoantenna fab on CMOS backplane - and characterization (led by Dr. Arseniy I. Kuznetsov, IMRE)
    Advanced compact chip packaging (led by Mr. Vempati Srinivasa Rao, IME)
    System integration in:
    AR/VR devices (led by Dr. Fong Wee Teck, I2R)
    Holographic displays (led by Assoc. Prof. Zheng Yuanjing, NTU)
  • Development of large scale fabrication of nanoantennas and metasurfaces:
    Large-scale fabrication of nanoantennas using nanoimprint lithography (led by Dr. Liu Hong, IMRE)
    Large-scale fabrication of nanoantennas using 12-inch immersion photolithography (led by Dr. Judy Lin Qun Ying, IME)
  • Development of novel material platforms for ultra-fast switchable nanoantennas:
    Novel phase-change materials for tunable nanoantennas at visible and infra-red frequencies (led by Asst. Prof. Robert E. Simpson, SUTD)
    Perovskites for tunable nanoantennas at visible and infra-red frequencies (led by Assoc. Prof. Cesare Soci, NTU)
    Integrated semiconductor platforms for ultrafast electrical tuning of nanoantennas at near/mid-infrared frequencies (led by Assoc. Prof. Wang Qijie, NTU)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled adaptive wave-front shaping and optimized tunable nanoantennas (led by by Assoc. Prof. Zheng Yuanjing, NTU).


Contact


Programme lead:  
Dr. Arseniy I. Kuznetsov 
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR 
Email: arseniy_kuznetsov@imre.a-star.edu.sg 
Tel: (+65) 6714 9042