Voxtel Awarded Contract to Develop New Optical Technologies for NASA

April 9, 2013

Light-steering techniques will break the half-millennium standstill in optical lens technology and open a new field of transformational optics.


Beaverton, Ore., April 9, 2013Voxtel, Inc. announces it was awarded a contract to develop novel nanostructured optical technologies for NASA. Working in cooperation with the University of Oregon, under sponsorship of Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), Voxtel will use 3D inkjet printing techniques to transform the field of optics.

“Optical lens technology is one of the few items we use daily that hasn’t changed significantly in our lifetimes. Lenses are designed using the same principles developed more than 500 years ago, and camera lenses made more than 50 years ago may still outperform those made today,” says George Williams, Voxtel  founder and President.

Voxtel nanotechnology is developed using an additive manufacturing technologies approach. By redesigning from the bottom up, Voxtel will create lenses that “steer” light as it passes through the transparent nanocomposite optical elements. This will allow fabrication of smaller, lightweight lenses, with new capabilities.

In addition to enabling a new technology field of transformational optics, the technology has importance for CMOS-compatible photonics and optical display technologies.

Under the $150,000 first-phase effort, Voxtel’s nanotechnology group, VoxtelNano, will develop high-performance microlens arrays that can be printed directly onto silicon imagers using 3D inkjet printing.  To advance microlens technology rapidly, the initial funding is anticipated to be followed by a second phase $750,000 effort to further develop the technology.

Voxtel also has continuing sponsorship from DARPA and its Manufacturable Gradient Index (M-GRIN) Optics program to apply the 3D inkjet-printed gradient index optics technology to manufacture smaller, lighter weight night vision goggle lenses that will improve the capabilities of warfighters.

About Voxtel, Inc.

Voxtel, Inc., of Beaverton, Ore., is a leading supplier of sophisticated time-of-flight detectors and 3D electro-optical imaging systems for a wide range of government, industrial and scientific markets. Voxtel’s product technologies include highly sensitive APDs, laser radar (LADAR) receivers and active/passive focal plane arrays. For more information, visit Voxtel’s website at


For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with VoxtelNano Program Manager Paul Harmon, please call (541) 346-8611or email