Luminar Technologies has been granted a patent for an active metasurface that enables precise control of light modulation with low loss and high bandwidth. The technology involves altering the refractive index of high-index dielectric blocks to steer light, offering potential applications in various industries. GlobalData’s report on Luminar Technologies gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Luminar Technologies, Lidar-based object detection was a key innovation area identified from patents. Luminar Technologies's grant share as of January 2024 was 45%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Active metasurface for light modulation control

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Luminar Technologies Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11885986B2) discloses a metasurface design that includes a number of cells arranged on a substrate. Each cell consists of a high-index dielectric block with electrodes that provide a voltage differential to flow current along a path parallel to the metasurface plane. A controller dynamically adjusts the voltage to alter the refractive index of the dielectric block, allowing for the controllable steering of light exiting the cell. The dimensions of each cell are designed to enhance the electric field component of light at a specific wavelength, and the cells are doped to have varying positive and negative charge densities to achieve the desired light manipulation.

Furthermore, the patent also describes a method and system for controlling the metasurface to steer light effectively. The method involves receiving light at each cell, altering the voltage differentials to adjust the refractive index of the dielectric blocks, and controlling the light exiting the cells. The system comprises at least one cell with electrodes on opposite sides of the high-index dielectric block, along with circuitry to supply the voltage differential and dynamically adjust it to control the refractive index. This innovative metasurface design offers a versatile and efficient way to manipulate light for various applications, with potential implications in fields such as optics, telecommunications, and imaging technologies.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.