Patents by Inventor Erin A. McDowell

Erin A. McDowell has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200284963
    Abstract: An optical element includes an optical surface configured to receive light at a predetermined wavelength in a range from about 400 nm to about 1000 nm. The optical surface is defined by a vertical axis and a horizontal axis defining four Cartesian quadrants sequentially numbered in a counter-clockwise direction. A first longitudinal section of the optical surface is centered on the vertical axis and a second longitudinal section of the optical surface is centered on the horizontal axis. The first and second longitudinal section each extend across opposite edges of the optical surface and have a same substantially uniform retardance for substantially normally incident light. The optical element includes four discrete retarder sections. Each retarder section is disposed on a respective Cartesian quadrant of the optical surface and has a retardance difference from the substantially uniform retardance of the optical surface that is greater than zero.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2018
    Publication date: September 10, 2020
    Inventors: Zhisheng Yun, Michael L. Steiner, Jo A. Etter, Timothy L. Wong, Gilles J. Benoit, John D. Le, Erin A. McDowell, Susan L. Kent
  • Patent number: 10754159
    Abstract: Optical systems including an image surface, a stop surface, a partial reflector disposed between the image surface and the stop surface, a reflective polarizer disposed between the stop surface and the partial reflector, and a quarter wave retarder disposed between the reflective polarizer and the partial reflector are described. The reflective polarizer is convex along two orthogonal axes. The reflective polarizer may be a thermoformed multilayer reflective polarizer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2020
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Zhisheng Yun, Erin A. McDowell, Gregg A. Ambur
  • Patent number: 10747003
    Abstract: An optical system includes a reflective surface, a display adapted to emit image light toward the reflective surface, and a multilayer reflective polarizer disposed proximate the reflective surface. The multilayer reflective polarizer is curved about two orthogonal axes and includes at least one layer that is substantially optically uniaxial at at least one location. The image light is transmitted by the multilayer reflective polarizer after it is first reflected by the multilayer reflective polarizer. A head-mounted display includes a first optical system and a second optical system disposed proximate the first optical system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Zhisheng Yun, Erin A. McDowell, Gregg A. Ambur
  • Patent number: 10747002
    Abstract: Optical systems including an image surface and an exit surface are described. First second and third optical lenses, a partial reflector, a multilayer reflective polarizer and a retarder are disposed between the image surface and the exit surface. At least one location on at least one layer of the multilayer reflective polarizer is substantially uniaxially oriented. Each chief light ray that passes from the image surface to the exit surface is incident on the multilayer reflective polarizer with an angle of incidence less than about 30 degrees. The optical system may include a plurality of major surfaces disposed between the image surface and the exit surface where each major surface is convex toward the image surface and where at least six different major surfaces have six different convexities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Zhisheng Yun, Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell, Gregg A. Ambur
  • Patent number: 10741735
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a configuration and technique of fabricating remote phosphor optics (such as lenses) for downconverting LEDs, replacing the prior art solid hemispherical lenses with a novel thin-shell hemispherical lens that can be used with a wide range of encapsulating materials, including low index materials such as air and methyl silicones. The present disclosure further provides a configuration and technique whereby the remote phosphor lenses can be used with an LED array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Erin A. McDowell, Nicholas T. Gabriel, Bill H. Dodge
  • Patent number: 10739503
    Abstract: The present invention is a method of coating uniformly shaped and sized articles. The method includes providing a reactor having an arrayed inner surface, positioning the articles within the reactor, and coating the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Max Powers, Nicholas T. Gabriel, Bill H. Dodge, Erin A. McDowell, Robert R. Kieschke, Arokiaraj Jesudoss
  • Publication number: 20200241305
    Abstract: Optical systems including an image surface, a stop surface, a partial reflector disposed between the image surface and the stop surface, a reflective polarizer disposed between the stop surface and the partial reflector, and a quarter wave retarder disposed between the reflective polarizer and the partial reflector are described. The reflective polarizer is convex along two orthogonal axes. The reflective polarizer may be a thermoformed multilayer reflective polarizer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2020
    Publication date: July 30, 2020
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Zhisheng Yun, Erin A. McDowell, Gregg A. Ambur
  • Publication number: 20200192126
    Abstract: An optical lens including first and second polarizers, a partial reflector disposed between the first and second polarizers, a first phase retarder disposed between the first polarizer and the partial reflector, and a second phase retarder disposed between the partial reflector and the second polarizer is described. The optical lens is a single piece configured for use in an eyewear. Eyewear including at least one of the optical lenses is also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 8, 2017
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Inventors: Zhisheng Yun, Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Susan L. Kent, Erin A. McDowell, Timothy L. Wong, John D. Le, Michael L. Steiner
  • Patent number: 10678052
    Abstract: Optical systems including an image surface, a stop surface, a partial reflector disposed between the image surface and the stop surface, a reflective polarizer disposed between the stop surface and the partial reflector, and a quarter wave retarder disposed between the reflective polarizer and the partial reflector are described. The reflective polarizer is convex along two orthogonal axes. The reflective polarizer may be a thermoformed multilayer reflective polarizer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: 3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Zhisheng Yun, Erin A. McDowell, Gregg A. Ambur
  • Patent number: 10670867
    Abstract: An optical stack includes first and second lenses, a partial reflector, a reflective polarizer, and a retarder. The reflective polarizer is curved about two orthogonal axes and includes at least one layer that is substantially optically uniaxial at at least one location. An optical system includes the optical stack disposed between an image surface and an exit surface. The optical system is configured such that substantially any chief ray transmitted from the image surface to the exit surface is first incident on the reflective polarizer at an angle of incidence less than 30 degrees.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: 3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY
    Inventors: Zhisheng Yun, Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell, Gregg A. Ambur
  • Patent number: 10663745
    Abstract: Light emitting systems and optical systems including a light emitting system and a lens system are described. The light emitting system includes a pixelated light source having a plurality of discrete spaced apart pixels, and includes a plurality of light redirecting elements, each light redirecting element corresponding to a different pixel in the plurality of pixels. The light redirecting elements may be adapted to alter one or both of a central ray direction and a divergence angle of light received from the corresponding pixel. A lens system disposed to receive light from the light emitting system may include a reflective polarizer and a partial reflector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: 3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Erin A. McDowell, Timothy L. Wong, Zhisheng Yun, Jo Anne Etter
  • Patent number: 10663727
    Abstract: A camera including an aperture, an image recording device, a reflective polarizer disposed between the aperture and the image recording device, a partial reflector disposed between the reflective polarizer and the image recording device, and a quarter wave retarder disposed between the reflective polarizer and the partial reflector. The reflective polarizer is curved about two orthogonal axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: 3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Zhisheng Yun, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell, Gregg A. Ambur
  • Publication number: 20200159025
    Abstract: A lens is formed from at least two sections or bodies that are shaped to mate with each other, and a multilayer optical film is sandwiched between these two sections. Smooth surfaces of each section combine to provide a first optical surface of the lens, e.g., a concave, convex, or flat optical surface. The multilayer optical film includes a stack of polymer layers configured to selectively reflect light by constructive or destructive interference, at least some of the polymer layers being birefringent. The multilayer optical film may thus be or comprise e.g. a reflective polarizer and/or a narrow band or otherwise notched reflector. The multilayer optical film has an extended terminus that separates the smooth surfaces of the two sections. Any edge defects such as cracks or delaminations that may exist along the extended terminus are characterized by an average defect distance of no more than 100 or 50 microns.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2020
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Erin A. McDowell
  • Publication number: 20200156335
    Abstract: In some examples, a method may include injection molding an optical material in a mold defining at least one optical surface to form a molded component, and machining the molded component to form a machined optical component including a machined optical surface. In some examples, a method may include injection molding an optical material in an axially symmetric mold cavity defining at least one optical surface to form a molded component, and machining the molded component to form an optical component that does not possess axial symmetry. Optical component formed by these methods and molds for utilizing in these methods also are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2020
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell
  • Publication number: 20200124856
    Abstract: An optical system including at least a first lens, a partial reflector and a reflective polarizer is described. The optical system has an optical axis such that a light ray propagating along the optical axis passes through the first lens the partial reflector and the reflective polarizer without being substantially refracted. At least one major surface of the optical system is rotationally asymmetric about the optical axis. A major surface of the optical system may have a first portion defined by a first equation and a second portion adjacent the first portion defined by a different equation. The first lens may have a contoured edge adapted to be placed adjacent an eye of a viewer and substantially conform to the viewer's face.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Publication date: April 23, 2020
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Zhisheng Yun, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell, Jo A. Etter, Robert M. Jennings
  • Publication number: 20200089005
    Abstract: A polarizing beam splitting system is described. The polarizing beam splitting system may include first and second prisms where the volume of the first prism is no greater than half the volume of the second prism. The first prism includes first and second surfaces and a light source may be disposed adjacent the first surface and an image forming device may be disposed adjacent the second surface. The first prism has a first hypotenuse and the second prism has a second hypotenuse. A reflective polarizer is disposed between the first and second hypotenuses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2019
    Publication date: March 19, 2020
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Zhisheng Yun, Erin A. McDowell, Timothy L. Wong, Kandyce M. Bohannon
  • Patent number: 10569486
    Abstract: In some examples, a method may include injection molding an optical material in a mold defining at least one optical surface to form a molded component, and machining the molded component to form a machined optical component including a machined optical surface. In some examples, a method may include injection molding an optical material in an axially symmetric mold cavity defining at least one optical surface to form a molded component, and machining the molded component to form an optical component that does not possess axial symmetry. Optical component formed by these methods and molds for utilizing in these methods also are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell
  • Patent number: 10564427
    Abstract: An optical system including at least a first lens, a partial reflector and a reflective polarizer is described. The optical system has an optical axis such that a light ray propagating along the optical axis passes through the first lens the partial reflector and the reflective polarizer without being substantially refracted. At least one major surface of the optical system is rotationally asymmetric about the optical axis. A major surface of the optical system may have a first portion defined by a first equation and a second portion adjacent the first portion defined by a different equation. The first lens may have a contoured edge adapted to be placed adjacent an eye of a viewer and substantially conform to the viewer's face.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: 3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Zhisheng Yun, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell, Jo A. Etter, Robert M. Jennings
  • Patent number: 10514553
    Abstract: A polarizing beam splitting system is described. The polarizing beam splitting system may include first and second prisms where the volume of the first prism is no greater than half the volume of the second prism. The first prism includes first and second surfaces and a light source may be disposed adjacent the first surface and an image forming device may be disposed adjacent the second surface. The first prism has a first hypotenuse and the second prism has a second hypotenuse. A reflective polarizer is disposed between the first and second hypotenuses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: 3M INNOVATIvE PROPERTIES COMPANY
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Zhisheng Yun, Erin A. McDowell, Timothy L. Wong, Kandyce M. Bohannon
  • Publication number: 20190384045
    Abstract: An optical system for displaying an image to a viewer includes a partial reflector, a reflective polarizer, and a first retarder layer. A light ray propagates along the optical axis and passes through the plurality of optical lenses, the partial reflector, the reflective polarizer, and the first retarder layer without being substantially refracted. For a cone of light incident on the optical system from an object comprising a spatial frequency of about 70, 60, 50, 40, or 30 line pairs per millimeter and filling the exit pupil with a chief ray of the cone of light passing through a center of the opening of the exit pupil of the optical system and making an angle of about 20 degrees with the optical axis, a modulation transfer function of the optical system is greater than about 0.2.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2018
    Publication date: December 19, 2019
    Inventors: Zhisheng Yun, Timothy L. Wong, Erin A. McDowell