Ultrathin Plasmonic Subtractive Color Filters for Transparent Display and Miniaturized Image and Display Technologies


Lehigh University has developed a novel plasmonic subtractive color-filtering scheme, using an ultrathin nanostructured metal film. This approach relies on a fundamentally different color filtering mechanism than that of existing color filters, and achieves unusually high transmission efficiencies of 60-70% for simple architectures, and can be a great alternative to traditional color filters. Furthermore, the unique polarization-dependent feature of the proposed plasmonic SCFs, functioning as either color filters or highly transparent windows under different polarizations, offers a new approach for high-definition transparent displays through actively controlling the polarization of incident light at each color pixel.


Recently, many new designs, such as a plate-like dielectric deflectors and plasmonic additive color filters, have been proposed to replace the conventional colorant color filters. However, their significant drawbacks limit their commercial applications, such as poor color purity, low transmission efficiency and complex architectures. The proposed plasmonic SCFs, with unusually high transmission efficiency, simple design, wide color tenability, ease of fabrication and device integration, and great reliability, can overcome these key challenges in current color filter technologies. In addition, their unique polarization-dependent filtering features overcome the fundamental problem of low resolution and color gamut in existing transparent display technologies.


Lehigh Tech ID# 092713-02



The invention can be used in a variety of large markets and industries including digital photography, projectors, displays, image sensors and other optical instruments.



Lehigh University is initially interested in identifying industry partners to co-develop the technology, ultimately leading to licensing.

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional [PR] United States 61/900,826 11/6/2013    
For Information, Contact:
Alan Snyder
VP, Research & Grad Programs
Lehigh University
Filbert Bartoli
Beibei Zeng
Yongkang Gao