Diffraction Based MEMS Scanner for LIDAR Application

Case ID:

Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a method of beam-steering polychromatic light by controlling the angular divergence characteristics of the beam through a pre-correction element.  The result is a collimated polychromatic beam exiting the device.

Mechanical beam steering devices for LIDAR use heavy and power-hungry gimbals and optical components making large mechanical motions. While non-mechanical optical steering devices exist, most use electrically controlled optical diffraction elements and normally operate over a narrow wavelength band to avoid dispersion. Others use waveguides and have small apertures. These designs are prone to failures in harsh environments and sometimes bulky.


  • Defense industry
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • 3D Mapping


  • Larger aperture and faster reconfiguration rate
  • Accommodates polychromatic input beam

Status: issued U.S. Patents #11,061,220 and #10,345,576

Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Pierre Blanche
Brittany Lynn