uah p 18010

Docket: UAH-P-18010


The marketplace for thin film light absorbers has grown considerably in the past few years. These light absorbers have diverse applications in fields ranging from ultra-high resolution displays, biological sensors, solar energy harvesting devices, and photosensors, to any other technology that would benefit from the exploitation of electrically controllable light absorption.  

Researchers at UAH have developed such an electrically tunable thin film perfect light absorber. With this technology, high-speed and high resolution sensors, tunable color filters, and even smart windows can be developed in the very near future. These light absorbers contain a semiconductor whose carrier density, and thus index of refraction, can be electrically modified to allow absorption to peak at different colors in the visible and infrared.

In the short term, this technology developed at UAH will lead the way toward next-generation displays that can be mass produced inexpensively.  Improvements in the performance of current technologies found in biological and other sensors can be made as well using these electronically tunable sensors. Future consumer products such as smart windows will also substantially benefit from this technology. Smart windows will allow the color tuning of room lighting, horticultural lighting and vision protection devices. These new components will respond an order of magnitude faster than current liquid crystal based devices and the extinction ratio is predicted to be higher as well. Whether applied to old or new technologies, the electronically tunable solid state perfect light absorber approach will be a vast improvement over currently available methods for controlling light.


  • Displays
  • Biological sensing
  • Smart windows
  • Telecommunications


  • Higher resolution
  • Higher speed
  • Ultra thin and flexible
  • Electronically controllable


  • State of Development: Proof of Concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for Licensing
  • Patent Status: Proprietary