Lumera Corporation Continues Impressive Accumulation of Intellectual Property by Receiving Patent for Optical Modulator; New Patent Ensures Lower Optical Loss and Operating Voltage
The patent joins Lumera's growing intellectual property portfolio directed at a broad range of markets including the high-speed communications and computing industry, biotechnology, and the rapidly increasing proteomics industry. The new optical modulator patented by Lumera has both reduced optical loss and lower operating voltage, and can be fabricated with methods that allow high-volume manufacturing.
“Techniques used to reduce both the optical loss and operating voltage tend to fight each other, so typically you have to make a choice between reducing one of the two”
The patent is entitled "Polymer Waveguide Devices Incorporating Electro-optically Active Polymer Clads," and has the number 6,937,811.
"Techniques used to reduce both the optical loss and operating voltage tend to fight each other, so typically you have to make a choice between reducing one of the two," said Lumera Chief Executive Officer Tom Mino. "We have found a way to reduce both at the same time -- something that we believe will be of great interest to companies operating optical networks across the world -- and we accomplished this while still having a device that can be manufactured in high volumes."
Electro-optic polymer modulators are typically fabricated with very thin polymer layers in order to reduce the required operating voltage as much as possible. However, these very thin polymer layers create a mismatch with the optical fiber input, which in turn causes high optical loss. Previous efforts to reduce loss typically used one of two methods: squeezing light in the optical fiber to match the very thin polymer stack of the modulator or increasing the thickness of the polymer layers to improve optical loss. In the first case, fabrication of the required parts has proved to be extremely difficult and, in the second case, thicker polymer layers require higher operating voltage.
Lumera solved these issues by using two layers of different electro-optic polymers. The combination of increased thickness and more electro-optic activity lowered both the optical loss and the operating voltage. Lumera previously announced that it had received orders and had shipped production devices of its electro-optical modulators.
"Our expertise in the areas of electro-optic polymers with custom properties, and in device design and fabrication have allowed us to achieve both the reduced optical coupling loss and operating voltage," continued Mino. "The intellectual property and barriers to entry to this type of technology allow Lumera to continue building a strong competitive advantage in the current and future generations of optical devices for the optical networking, microprocessor optical interconnects, and hybrid fiber optic-wireless networks."
Lumera is an emerging leader in the field of nanotechnology. The company designs proprietary molecular structures and polymer compounds for a broad range of electro-optic, bioscience, RF and specialty nanotechnology applications. The company also has developed proprietary processes for fabricating such devices. For more information, please visit www.lumera.com.
Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the company's forward-looking statements include the following: market acceptance of our technologies and products; our ability to obtain financing; our financial and technical resources relative to those of our competitors; our ability to keep up with rapid technological change; government regulation of our technologies; our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights and protect our proprietary technologies; the ability to obtain additional contract awards and to develop partnership opportunities; the timing of commercial product launches; the ability to achieve key technical milestones in key products; and other risk factors identified from time to time in the company's SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.