Patents Assigned to Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6922271
    Abstract: One embodiment disclosed relates to an apparatus for controlled diffraction of light. The apparatus includes a plurality of vertically movable reflective members and an arrangement of the reflective members along a grating plane. The grating plane is configured to be controllably tiltable. Another embodiment disclosed relates to a method for controlled diffraction of light. The method includes illuminating incident light upon an element, and controllably deflecting reflective members within the element to control a fraction of the incident light reflected by the element. The reflective members may be controllably deflected so as to be positioned along a tiltable grating plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2005
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Dinesh Maheshwari
  • Patent number: 6877209
    Abstract: One embodiment disclosed relates to a method for sealing an active area of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) device on a wafer. The method includes providing a sacrificial material over at least the active area of the SAW device, depositing a seal coating over the wafer so that the seal coating covers the sacrificial material, and replacing the sacrificial material with a target atmosphere. Another embodiment disclosed relates to an SAW device sealed at the wafer level (i.e. prior to separation of the die from the wafer). The device includes an active area to be protected, an electrical contact area, and a lithographically-formed structure sealing at least the active area and leaving at least a portion of the electrical contact area exposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2005
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory D. Miller, Mike Bruner, Lawrence Henry Ragan, Gary Green
  • Patent number: 6829077
    Abstract: A light modulator includes elongated elements and a support structure. The elongated elements are arranged in parallel. Each element includes a light reflective planar surface with the light reflective planar surfaces lying in one or more parallel planes. The support structure is coupled to the elongated elements to maintain a position of the elongated elements relative to each other and to enable movement of each elongated element between a first modulator configuration and a second modulator configuration. In the first modulator configuration, the elongated elements act to reflect an incident light as a plane mirror. In the second modulator configuration, selected groups of elements are deflected and act to diffract the incident light along one or more of a plurality of diffraction planes. The groups of elements are configured according to one of a plurality of selectable group configurations. Each group configuration corresponds to one of the plurality of diffraction planes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Dinesh Maheshwari
  • Patent number: 6829258
    Abstract: An external cavity laser comprises a laser source, a collimation optical element, a blazed diffraction grating, a transform optical element, and a light modulator. The laser source produces a light output comprising a range of light wavelengths. The collimation optical element couples the laser source to the blazed diffraction grating. The collimation optical element collimates the light output. The blazed diffraction grating diffracts the light output into a first diffraction order. The transform optical element couples the blazed diffraction grating to the light modulator, which is located in a transform plane of the transform optical element. The transform optical element converts the first diffraction order to position in the transform plane by focusing the range of light wavelengths to the transform plane. The light modulator comprises an array of light modulating pixels selectively operable in first mode and second modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Clinton B. Carlisle, Jahja I. Trisnadi
  • Patent number: 6829092
    Abstract: A light modulator includes elongated elements arranged parallel to each other. In a first diffraction mode, the light modulator operates to diffract an incident light into at least two diffraction orders. In a second diffraction mode, the light modulator operates to diffract the incident light into a single diffraction order. Each of the elongated elements comprises a blaze profile, which preferably comprises a reflective stepped profile across a width of each of the elongated elements and which produces an effective blaze at a blaze angle. Alternatively, the blaze profile comprises a reflective surface angled at the blaze angle. Each of selected ones of the elongated elements comprise a first conductive element. The elongated elements produce the first diffraction when a first electrical bias is applied between the first conductive elements and a substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: David T. Amm, Jahja Trisnadi, James Hunter, Christopher Gudeman, Dinesh Maheshwari
  • Patent number: 6822797
    Abstract: An optical system provides high-contrast operation by collecting zero order light. The optical system comprises a light modulator and a collector. The light modulator is preferably a grating light valve™ light modulator including a plurality of elements selectively operable in a first mode and a second mode, wherein a gap between adjacent elements is equal to or less than a wavelength of an incident light beam. The plurality of elements in the first mode reflect light along a return path, where the plurality of elements in the second mode direct light away from the return path. The collector is coupled to the light modulator to collect zero order light along the return path while the plurality of elements are in the first mode and to collect zero order light along the return path while the plurality of elements are in the second mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Clinton B. Carlisle, Jahia I. Trisnadi, James Hunter
  • Patent number: 6813059
    Abstract: A device comprising movable micro-structures configured to contact a substrate is disclosed. The substrate has a metal-insulator-metal construction with an upper metal layer and an insulator being patterned to provide substrate contact regions to a lower metal layer. The micro-structures have metal under layers for providing ribbon contact regions and non-contact regions. In use, a bias voltage is applied across the micro-structures and the top metal layer of the substrate causing the micro-structures and the substrate to contact through the contact regions. During contact, the contact regions are maintained at a potential that is substantially less than the applied bias voltage, thereby reducing the formation of asperities and/or sticking between contacting parts. The micro-structures are preferably ribbon structures in an optical MEM device configured to modulate light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: James Hunter, Bryan Staker
  • Patent number: 6806997
    Abstract: A modulator for modulating an incident beam of light. The modulator includes a plurality of elements, each element including a first end, a second end, a first linear side, a second linear side, and a continuous or non-continuous light reflective planar surface plurality of elements are arranged parallel to each other and further wherein the light reflective planar surface of each of the plurality of elements includes a first non-linear side and a second non-linear side. The modulator also includes a support structure coupled to each end of the plurality of elements to enable movement between a first modulator configuration wherein the plurality of elements act to reflect the incident beam of light as a plane mirror, and a second modulator configuration wherein the plurality of elements act to diffract the incident beam of light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Dueweke, Dinesh Maheshwari, Christopher Gudernan, Jahja I. Trisnadi
  • Patent number: 6804038
    Abstract: One embodiment disclosed comprises a method for bipolar operation of a light-modulating array. The method includes driving light-modulating elements of the array in a first polarity, switching polarities from the first polarity to a second polarity, driving the light-modulating elements of the array in a second polarity, switching polarities from the second polarity to the first polarity, and repeating the steps. Another embodiment disclosed comprises an apparatus utilizing a light-modulating array. The apparatus includes a first look-up table storing data for operating elements the light-modulating array in a first polarity mode, and a second look-up table storing data for operating the elements of the light-modulating array in a second polarity mode. The apparatus also includes a drive system for driving the elements of the light-modulating array. The drive system is coupled to both the first and second look-up tables.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: David A. LeHoty, Bryan Staker
  • Patent number: 6801354
    Abstract: A 2D diffraction grating light valve modulates an incident beam of light. A plurality of elements each have a reflective surface with their respective reflective surfaces substantially coplanar. Alternatively, the reflective surfaces of the plurality of elements lie within one or more parallel planes. The elements are supported in relation to one another. Preferably, a planar member includes a plurality of holes arranged in a symmetrical two-dimensional array and configured such that the holes substantially optically extend the elements. Alternatively, one or more elements substantially optically extends the plurality of holes. The planar member includes a light reflective planar surface that is parallel to the plane of the elements within a functional area of the device. The planar member is supported in relation to the elements. By applying an appropriate biasing voltage to the planar member, the planar member can be moved in a direction normal to the plane of the elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Alexander Payne, Gregory Miller
  • Patent number: 6800238
    Abstract: A method for domain patterning of nonlinear ferroelectric materials. The method seeks to reduce the formation of random and spontaneous micro-domains that typically result during thermal cycling of ferroelectric materials and which leads to patterning defects and degraded performance. In accordance with the invention, a ferroelectric wafer is provided with a conductive layer on the top and bottom surfaces of the wafer. A sufficient bias voltage is applied across the conductive layers to polarize the wafer into a single direction. At least one of the conductive layers is selectively patterned to form a conductive domain template. A sufficient revise bias voltage is then applied to the conductive domain template and a remaining conductive layer to produce the domain patterned structure. According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the ferroelectric wafer is formed of LiNbO3 or LiTaO3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory D. Miller
  • Patent number: 6795227
    Abstract: One embodiment disclosed relates to a system for modulating a plurality of micro-electromechanical (MEM) devices. The system includes a means for providing an amplitude modulation signal to each MEM device at a base frequency and a means for providing a width modulation signal at the base frequency. In addition, the system includes a clock means for providing a higher-frequency clock signal with a frequency that is a multiple of the base frequency. In this embodiment, the width modulation signal for each MEM device indicates at least one position on the higher-frequency clock signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: David A. LeHoty
  • Patent number: 6785001
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting wavelength change of a first light signal comprises an amplitude splitting interferometer and a detector. The amplitude splitting interferometer comprises first and second optical paths. The first optical path has a first index of refraction that varies with wavelength over a first wavelength band. The second optical path has a second index of refraction that is relatively constant over the first wavelength band. In operation the first light signal enters and exits the amplitude splitting interferometer forming interference light. The interference light couples to the detector which detects the wavelength change of the first light signal from the interference light. An interferometer comprises a first beam splitter, third and fourth optical paths, and a second beam splitter. The third optical path is optically coupled to the first beam splitter and has a third index of refraction that varies with wavelength over a second wavelength band.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Kais Almarzouk, Dinesh Maheshwari
  • Patent number: 6781739
    Abstract: One embodiment disclosed relates to a method for driving a micro electromechanical (MEM) device. The method includes generating a high-frequency AC drive signal that is substantially greater in frequency than a resonance frequency of a movable feature in the MEM device, and modulating the amplitude of the high-frequency AC drive signal. A DC-like displacement of the movable feature in the MEM device is achieved by driving the movable feature using the amplitude modulated high-frequency AC drive signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: David T. Amm, Douglas A. Webb
  • Patent number: 6777258
    Abstract: In one embodiment a micro device is formed by depositing a sacrificial layer over a metallic electrode, forming a moveable structure over the sacrificial layer, and then etching the sacrificial layer with a noble gas fluoride. Because the metallic electrode is comprised of a metallic material that also serves as an etch stop in the sacrificial layer etch, charge does not appreciably build up in the metallic electrode. This helps stabilize the driving characteristic of the moveable structure. In one embodiment, the moveable structure is a ribbon in a light modulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: James A. Hunter
  • Patent number: 6775047
    Abstract: One embodiment disclosed relates to a method for adaptive bipolar operation of a micro electromechanical (MEM) device. The method includes driving the MEM device in a first polarity, determining when an offset passes a first threshold, and switching from the first polarity to a second polarity when the offset passes the first threshold. Another embodiment disclosed relates to an apparatus for adaptive bipolar operation of a MEM device. The apparatus includes a first look-up table (LUT) for use in driving the MEM device in a first polarity, a circuit for determining when an offset passes a first threshold, and a polarity switch for switching from the first polarity to a second polarity when the offset passes the first threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Omar S. Leung, Akira Tomita, David T. Amm
  • Patent number: 6767751
    Abstract: An integrated device including one or more device drivers and a diffractive light modulator monolithically coupled to the one or more driver circuits. The one or more driver circuits are configured to process received control signals and to transmit the processed control signals to the diffractive light modulator. A method of fabricating the integrated device preferably comprises fabricating a front-end portion for each of a plurality of transistors, isolating the front-end portions of the plurality of transistors, fabricating a front-end portion of a diffractive light modulator, isolating the front end portion of the diffractive light modulator, fabricating interconnects for the plurality of transistors, applying an open array mask and wet etch to access the diffractive light modulator, and fabricating a back-end portion of the diffractive light modulator, thereby monolithically coupling the diffractive light modulator and the plurality of transistors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: James A. Hunter
  • Patent number: 6747781
    Abstract: A method of reducing speckle includes dividing a laser illuminated area into phase cells, subdividing the phase cells into cell partitions, and applying a temporal phase variation to the cell partitions within an integration time of an intensity detector viewing the laser illuminated area. An apparatus for reducing speckle includes illumination optics, a diffuser, and projection optics. The illumination optics couple a laser illumination to the diffuser, which is located in a first image plane. The diffuser divides the laser illumination into the phase cells and subdivides the phase cells into the cell partitions. The diffuser also applies the temporal phase variation to the cell partitions. The projection optics project an image of the first image plane onto a diffuse surface. A display apparatus adds a light modulator to the apparatus for reducing speckle and places the light modulator in a third image plane located between a laser source and the diffuser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Jahja I. Trisnadi
  • Patent number: 6661090
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an integrated circuit packaging structure includes a first metal adhesion layer formed under a lid and a second metal adhesion layer formed over a substrate. The lid includes a free surface that may move a small amount without cracking. The second metal adhesion layer is configured such that its outer end does not extend past the free surface of the lid to minimize crack formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Omar S. Leung, Josef Berger
  • Patent number: 6652644
    Abstract: In one embodiment, lithium oxide concentration in wafers is adjusted by placing the wafers in a vessel. Vapor of a lithium oxide source is provided and absorbed by the wafers, thereby adjusting the lithium oxide concentration in the wafers. In another embodiment, a two-phase lithium-rich source is placed between wafers such that space in the process chamber is efficiently utilized. In another embodiment, the wafers to be processed are placed in a section of a process chamber (e.g., process tube). Lithium oxide is introduced on end of the process chamber. Carrier gas is also introduced on that end of the process chamber to carry the lithium oxide into the section of the process chamber where the wafers are located. By adjusting the partial pressure of lithium oxide in the process chamber, the rate at which lithium oxide is absorbed by the wafers is controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory D. Miller, Janos Lazar