EM Wave Slow Down Device (Technology #: 072808-01)


Lehigh University has developed and prototyped a device for slowing down and stopping electromagnetic (EM) waves and then, in a controlled manner, accelerating or restarting them again.  It allows controlling the speed of light individually for various frequencies, effectively creating a “rainbow trapping device.”  The approach uses standard manufacturing methods in the electronics industry and is made from low cost, readily available materials.


What makes this technology unique is its potential for spatial confinement of EM energy within subwavelength dimensions over a wide spectral range. The device is an attractive candidate to break the size limitation that diffraction imposes on conventional photonic structures.   Lehigh’s “rainbow trapper” provides the basis for optical memory, spectrometer on a chip, surface or interface technology, data storage, and biosensing.


Lehigh Tech ID #072808-01



The Lab-on-a-Chip industry is growing and there is increasing demand for innovative signal processing and spectroscopy tools.[1]  The global lab on a chip market was estimated to be $817 million in 2009 by BCC Research Group. The annual growth of this market is expected to be over 20% through 2014.[2]  Optical computing is also expanding, creating new real-world applications as large corporations and government agencies, such as U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are investing in development efforts.[3]


[1]Lab-on-chip: A Market Snapshot Lab-on-chip: A Market Snapshot.” April 30, 2009. Frost and Sullivan web site (subscription required). http://www.frost.com (accessed August 2, 2010).

[2] Bergin, John. “Global Biochip Markets: Microarrays and Lab-on-a-Chip.” January 2010. BCC Research web site. http://www.bccresearch.com/report/BIO049C.html (accessed August 2, 2010).


Lehigh University is interested in licensing this technology. Additionally, Lehigh has developed an interferometer technology, for which a provisional patent has been filed, that can be licensed as a package with this technology or a stand-alone technology. Please ask for additional marketing sheet if interested.    

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Utility United States 12/609,478 8,208,191 10/30/2009 6/26/2012 8/9/2030
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Qiaoqiang Gan
Zhan Fu
Yujie Ding
Filbert Bartoli
Optical Integrated Circuits