These structures act as waveguides to manipulate light and provide a degree of control not possible with traditional refractive lenses. A single thin meta-optic can outperform a stack of refractive lenses and provide significant system-level performance and cost advantages.
Meta-optics are fabricated using standard semiconductor processes and are made in the same foundries that produce microelectronics and CMOS image sensors. These mature fabrication processes result in an ability to produce meta-optics in mass volume with a single step of optical lithography and with high manufacturing yield. Sharing many of the attributes of other key semiconductor components, like lasers and imaging sensors, meta-optic integration into modules is easier and more cost-effective.
Although diffractive optics can also be fabricated on a wafer, the underlying structure and smaller size of meta-optic features enable its higher performance.
- When compared to meta-optics, diffractive optics exhibit substantially higher stray light and lower imaging performance at low f/# and across temperature
- 4x improvement in signal to noise in 3D imaging systems
- Multifunctional optics replace an entire set of refractive lenses, resulting in lower cost of integration and assembly
- Fabricated with a single semiconductor layer for high yield, cost effective mass production