Illumination optics consortium IBELIVE aims to miniaturize optical components

March 28, 2018
Project to develop extremely compact and low-profile optical components for data visualization or illumination. 

Osram Opto Semiconductors (Regensburg, Germany), together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF (Jena), TEMICON (Dortmund), and Continental Automotive (Babenhousen), have been collaborating on the IBELIVE project to develop extremely compact and low-profile optical components for data visualization or illumination. The partners are addressing different markets, including compact and powerful head-up projection displays, ultra-thin camera flashes, and selective direct display backlighting.

IBELIVE (German acronym for Innovative Hybrid Diffusers for Low-Profile Lighting Systems with Tailored Light Distribution) runs for three years from its start date in October 2017. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to address the absence of any significant means of further reducing the profile of the LED chips currently being used as light sources. In contrast, there is still great potential for miniaturizing the optics.

The consortium will investigate flexible design and manufacturing processes for space-critical applications for data visualization or illumination. The planned reduction in the thickness of the optical elements and the combinability of various optical functionalities in a microstructure will give designers much greater flexibility in integrating the components in the devices. Another benefit will be improved energy efficiency, as well as a greater proportion of the generated light used for applications.

The project covers the entire value-added chain, from developing optics and volume production to testing the new technology in applications. In addition to coordinating the project, Osram Opto Semiconductors is responsible for the system concept and for the design of two application-based demonstrators and researching installation and testing concepts.

Continental is designing and developing two compact head-up displays with different projection light sources. The hybrid diffusers to be developed for this purpose play a central role in creating images and making efficient use of light in the head-up displays. Research here will focus on image quality as perceived by the driver.

The Fraunhofer IOF is developing methods and algorithms for designing hybrid diffuser optics, as well as technologies for generating deterministic surface structures. TEMICON is using interference lithography to overlay nanoscale structures and developing injection stamping and molding technologies for replicating thin two-sided hybrid diffuser optics as series products.

Source: Osram Opto Semiconductors

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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