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Metasurface-based compact light engine for AR headsets

Kamali, Seyedeh Mahsa and Arbabi, Ehsan and Faraon, Andrei (2019) Metasurface-based compact light engine for AR headsets. In: Optical Design Challenge 2019. Proceedings of SPIE. No.11040. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 1104002. ISBN 9781510627468.

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Despite the great advances, potentials of augmented reality to fundamentally transform the way people use computers is partially hindered by the size and weight of the AR headsets. In waveguide-based devices, the light engine constitutes a significant portion of the total volume and weight. Dielectric metasurfaces have in recent years been used to demonstrate various high performance optical elements like blazed gratings and wide field of view lenses with small thicknesses, high efficiencies, and little stray light. Here, we report our work on the design of a compact light engine based on multi-metasurface optics with wide fields of view, integrated with three monochrome μ-LED displays for red, green, and blue. The metasurfaces image the μ-LEDs on the prism or grating couplers. This design avoids an important shortcoming of μ-LEDs and metasurface lenses, i.e., each work well for a single wavelength. As an example, we present a design for 532 nm, with over 3000 resolved angular points in an 8-mm-diameter field of view, and a total volume less than 0.65 cc (<2 cc for the three wavelengths). Limited by the total internal reflection region inside a waveguide with a 1.78 refractive index, the light engine can produce an image with over 1500x1500 points over a field of view slightly larger than 85°x85° in air. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first proposal and demonstration of such a system and therefore opens the path towards exploring the potentials of the metasurface diffractive optics technology for compact AR headsets with enhanced optical capabilities.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kamali, Seyedeh Mahsa0000-0002-6968-811X
Arbabi, Ehsan0000-0002-5328-3863
Faraon, Andrei0000-0002-8141-391X
Additional Information:© 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Subject Keywords:Compact AR headset, Compact head moundet displays, Minitaurized light engine for AR headsets
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:11040
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190822-134051689
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Seyedeh Mahsa Kamali, Ehsan Arbabi, and Andrei Faraon "Metasurface-based compact light engine for AR headsets", Proc. SPIE 11040, Optical Design Challenge 2019, 1104002 (27 February 2019);
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98117
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:22 Aug 2019 22:10
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:36

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