Research centers on applying novel geometrical configurations to applied physics problems. The primary focus is in structured surface physics — the study of interfaces containing precision structures on a size scale of 0.1 to 100 microns. The advent of sophisticated polymeric micro-replication and thin film deposition technology have had two key impacts on this field. First, it is possible to study of wide range of new structures. Second, it is practical to mass-produce such structures, which opens up a new range of industrial opportunities.
An example is the prism light guide, which is a structure employing precise geometrical prismatic facets on a transparent hollow pipe, to enable the guiding of light by means of total internal reflection. The primary application of that device has been the large scale guiding of light for illumination purposes. We are currently developing a cost-effective solution to use hollow light guides to illuminate core regions of office buildings with daylight.
A different example is the CLEAR display, in which a microstructured surface very efficiently reflects ambient light by total internal reflection, and the reflection can be easily and efficiently modulated to form an image on the display by moving an absorbing material into contact with the microstructures. The result is a high brightness, low power display that has the appearance of ink printed on paper.