Categories: "Physics, Optics and Electronic Devices"
Reference #: 2007-025
Georgetown University is seeking a partner interested in the development and commercialization of a new technology that uses magnetically controlled ferrofluids to create specific patterns for optical applications such as photolithography, imaging and projection. For example, this device allows the user to tailor a pattern for photolithography using the ferrofluidic deformable mirror to reflect light in a controlled pattern onto another surface. Unlike masks for photolithography, the ferrofluid device can be altered so that different patterns can be produced from the single device, eliminating the need for multiple masks and potentially saving time and cost. For projection, ferrofluidic deformable mirrors may be used, for example, as an alternative to Dynamic Light Processing (DLP) technologies, which are currently used in high definition video.
The magnetically controlled ferrofluid may be used for dynamic masking for photolithography and optical imaging applications, e.g., video projection.
- Use of the ferrofluid device in photolithography avoids the need for photolithographic masks, which must be produced separately for each pattern to be etched
- The ferrofluids provide a dynamic solution, and thus there is no need for individual mirrors or moving mechanical parts
Stage of Development
The active region of the device consists of an array of micro-inductors that surround the ferrofluid. These inductors are able to locally generate magnetic fields to deform the ferrofluid surface in a controlled manner. The ferrofluid surface topography is modified according to algorithms. Collimated light is reflected off of the deformable ferrofluidic mirror onto an adjacent surface in the desired pattern set by the user.
Markarand Paranjape, Vincent P. Spinella-Mamo
U.S. Patent No. 8,138,749