Using Optical Solitons to Increase Figure-of-Merit of Laser Beam Deflection Devices

Technology #9895

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FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram illustrating bending of light using electro-optic effect;FIG. 2 is a schematic illustrating a beam propagating in a linear media (top panel); and also in soliton-forming media (bottom panel); FIG. 3A is a schematic demonstrating a situation when a soliton is not formed (linear propagation), and FIG. 3B is a schematic demonstrating when a soliton is formed (nonlinear propagation).
Professor John Joannopoulos
Department of Physics, MIT
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Professor Marin Soljacic
Department of Physics, MIT
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Chiyan Luo
Mordechai Segev
Israel Institute of Technology
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Using optical solitons to increase figure-of-merit of laser beam deflection devices

US Patent 7,027,681


This technology can be used in optical telecommunications, all-optical computing, LIDAR, laser printing and 3D imaging for scientific, medical (in-body surgery), artistic (architecture), and entertainment purposes.

Problem Addressed

Current methods of achieving fast light deflection is by using micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS), acousto-optic, and electro-optic devices. However, there is a significant tradeoff between the speed of the devices and  its number of addressable points using these methods. There is a need for fast light deflection with a large number of addressable points. 


The technology is a device for bending a laser beam that includes soliton-forming mechanism, which is positioned at the output of the beam deflection device. This mechanism receives the beam and increases the number of addressable points by a certain magnitude. This invention will be an enabling technology for ultra-fast 1-by-N switching applications, where N is large. It would also lead to important improvements in many other applications.


  • It increases the number of addressable points of several orders of magnitude, better than the current state of art methods.
  • It can be used in a wide variety of applications such as telecommunications, computing and imaging.