CPC Definition - Subclass G02F

Last Updated Version: 2019.01
DEVICES OR ARRANGEMENTS, THE OPTICAL OPERATION OF WHICH IS MODIFIED BY CHANGING THE OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF THE MEDIUM OF THE DEVICES OR ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE CONTROL OF THE INTENSITY, COLOUR, PHASE, POLARISATION OR DIRECTION OF LIGHT, e.g. SWITCHING, GATING, MODULATING OR DEMODULATING; TECHNIQUES OR PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION THEREOF; FREQUENCY-CHANGING; NON-LINEAR OPTICS; OPTICAL LOGIC ELEMENTS; OPTICAL ANALOGUE/DIGITAL CONVERTERS (optical transfer means between sensing member and indicating or recording part in connection with measuring G01D 5/26; devices in which mathematical operations are carried out with optical elements G06E 3/00, {G06E 3/001} ; electrical signal transmission systems using optical means to convert the input signal G08C 19/36; information-recording by electric or magnetic means and reproducing by sensing optical properties G11B 11/00; static stores using optical elements G11C 13/04; transmission systems employing electromagnetic waves other than radio waves, e.g. light, infra-red radiation, H04B 10/00; optical multiplex systems H04J 14/00; pictorial communication, e.g. television H04N)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices, the optical operation of which is modified by changing the optical properties (refraction, birefringence, absorption, nonlinear susceptibility) of the medium of the devices.

The term "optical" applies not only to visible light but also to ultra-violet, infra-red radiations or Terahertz (G02F 1/3534).

The following optical elements are therefore covered, the list being not exhaustive:

  • thermo-optic elements.
  • electro-optic elements.
  • magneto-optic elements.
  • elasto-optic elements.
  • acousto-optic elements.
  • liquid crystal devices.
  • electrochromic elements.
  • electrophoretic elements.
  • non-linear optics, i.e. devices or arrangements in which the electric or magnetic field component of the light beam influences the optical properties of the medium.

Demodulating light: Transferring the modulation of modulated light, i.e. transferring the information from one optical carrier of a first wavelength to a second optical carrier of a second wavelength, insofar these demodulators are based in substantial manner on elements which are provided for under the bullets above.

Optical logic elements: Optical bistable devices, i.e. devices exhibiting two different optical output states for a same optical input value, Optical logic elements, insofar these demodulators are based in substantial manner on elements which are provided for under the bullets above.

Optical analogue/digital converters: Optical bistable devices, i.e. devices exhibiting two different optical output states for a same optical input value, Optical logic elements, insofar these devices are based in substantial manner on elements which are provided for under the bullets above.

Relationships with other classification places

G09F 9/35 covers display having a particular shape and or used for a particular application, mainly for the purpose of advertising.

G09F 9/37 covers displays using movable (rotatable) elements.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Investigating or analysing materials by the use of optical means

G01N 21/00

Devices with movable or deformable element (DMD; electro-wetting)

G02B 26/00

Control arrangements or circuits for visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes

G09G 3/00

Photoconductive antenna for Terahertz (US2011080329)

H01Q 9/00, H01L 31/00

Optical Transmission system

H04B 10/00

Optical multiplex system

H04J 14/00

Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Projection devices for colour picture display

H04N 9/31

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Devices in which mathematical operation are carried out with optical elements Optical processing (correlator)

G06E 3/00

Indicating arrangements for variable information by selection or combination of individual elements

G09F 9/35

Information-recording and reproducing by sensing optical properties

G11B 7/00, G11B 11/00

Control of light sources

H01S 3/00, H05B 35/00 - H05B 43/00

Devices or arrangements for the control of the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light arriving from an independent light source, e.g. switching, gating, or modulating; Non-linear optics (thermometers using change of colour or translucency G01K 11/12; using changes in fluorescence G01K 11/32; light guide devices G02B 6/00; optical devices or arrangements using movable or deformable elements for controlling light independent of the light source G02B 26/00; control of light in general G05D 25/00; visible signalling systems G08B 5/00; indicating arrangements for variable information by selection or combination of individual elements G09F 9/00; control arrangements or circuits for visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes G09G 3/00; control of light sources H01S 3/10, H05B 33/08, H05B 35/00 - H05B 43/00; {photochromic filters G02B 5/23; optical logic elements G02F 3/00})
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices and methods for the control of intensity, phase, polarisation (G02F 1/01); or direction of light (G02F 1/29).

Devices and methods using nonlinear optical effect (G02F 1/35)

Relationships with other classification places

Light sources (Laser, LED, Lamp) are classified in the appropriate entries

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Electrochromic material

C09K 9/02

Photo luminescent material

C09K 11/00

Liquid crystal material

C09K 19/00

Integrated optical device with other passive /active optical elements (photonic chip)

G02B 6/12

Digital stores characterised by the use of electro-optical storage elements

G11C 13/044

Special rules of classification

The class G02F 1/00 is mainly empty and consists only of materials (except nonlinear materials classified in G02F 1/355) insofar these materials are used in the devices provided for in this subclass.

{Materials therefor}
Definition statement

This place covers:

NNew materials or compositions used in light modulation devices as far as the physical properties are concerned.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Non linear materials

G02F 1/355

Electrochromic materials

C09K 9/02

Photoluminescent materials

C09K 11/00

Liquid crystal materials

C09K 19/00

Radiation pyrometry

G01J 5/00

Thermometer using change of colour or translucency

G01K 11/12

for the control of the intensity, phase, polarisation or colour  (G02F 1/29, G02F 1/35 take precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices and methods for modulating the light (intensity, phase, polarization, color).

Relationships with other classification places

Passive optical element (Color filter, polarizer): G02B

Backlight comprising a light guide: G02B 6/00

Integrated optical element G02B 6/00

Laser: H01S

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Lighting Device in general

F21H - F21V

Measuring Instruments characterised by the use of an interferometer

G01B 9/02

Measuring characteristics of light, e.g. intensity, spectrum

G01J

Measuring force or stress by measuring variations of optical properties of material

G01L 1/24

Holography

G03H

Optical transmission system

H04B 10/00

Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Eye protecting filters (Welding Helmet)

A61F 9/00

Rear-view mirrors

B60R 1/08

(smart) Windows with controllable transmission

E06B 9/24

Optical RF spectrum analyser

G01R 23/17

Head-up display

G02B 27/02

Electro-optic spectacle (sunglasses)

G02C 7/101

Constructional details related to the housing of computer displays, e.g. of of flat displays

G06F 1/1601

Transparent conductive material TCO

H01B

Thin film Transistor TFT

H01L 21/00, H01L 27/00

LED Display

H01L 25/00

Stereoscopy

H04N 13/00

Detail of television receiver

H04N 5/64

Electroluminescent Display

H05B 33/00

Passive optical element (colour filter, polariser)

G02B

Backlight comprising a light guide

G02B 6/00

Integrated optical element

G02B 6/00

Arrangements in which the information is build-up by the combination of elements

G09F 9/35

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Integrated display and digitiser

G06F 3/0412

Active matrix with TFT

H01L 27/12

Special rules of classification

Common features of devices or arrangements for the control of intensity, phase, polarization or colour classified in G02F 1/167 (based on electrophoresis) are also classified in the G02F 1/13 and subgroups

Glossary of terms

In this place, the following terms or expressions are used with the meaning indicated:

BLU

Backlight Unit

TFT

Thin film transistor

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents, the following abbreviations are often used:

SOP

State Of Polarization

PDLC

Polymer dispersed Liquid crystal

TCO

Transparent conductive oxide

EA

Electro Absorption

VOA

Variable Optical Attenuator

{based on electro-mechanical, magneto-mechanical, elasto-optic effects}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices where a (electro, magnetic, pressure) field produce a deformation of the structure of the material which result in change in refractive index, absorption etc, e.g. elasto-optic effect (mechanically, stress induced birefringence).

{based on thermo-optic effects (G02F 1/132 takes precedence; tenebrescent compositions C09K 9/00; radiation pyrometry G01J 5/00; thermometers using change of colour or translucency G01K 11/12)}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Thermo optic effect.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Thermal activation of liquid crystals exhibiting a thermo-optic effect

G02F 1/132

Tenebrescent materials

C09K 9/00

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Radiation pyrometry

G01J 5/00

Thermometers using change of colour or translucency

G01K 11/12

based on semiconductor elements with at least one potential jump barrier, e.g. PN, PIN junction (G02F 1/03 takes precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Mainly GaAs InP devices.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Based on ceramics or electro-optical crystals, e.g. exhibiting Pockels effects or Kerr effect

G02F 1/03

in an optical waveguide structure (G02F 1/017, {G02F 1/2257} take precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Using silicon as the electro-optical material for the waveguide.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Structure with periodic or quasi peridoic potential variation, e.g. superlattices, quantum wells

G02F 1/017

Optical waveguides made of semiconductor material

G02F 1/2257

based on ceramics or electro-optical crystals, e.g. exhibiting Pockels effect or Kerr effect (G02F 1/061 takes precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Device using insulating electro-optic crystals, e.g. made of LiNbO3, LiTtaO3, KTP material

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Based on electro-optical organic material

G02F 1/061

{structurally associated with a photoconductive layer or having photo-refractive properties (G02F 1/05 takes precedence)}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Photo-refractive effect.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Wuth ferro-electric properties

G02F 1/05

with ferro-electric properties (G02F 1/035, G02F 1/055 take precedence {; domain inversion in ferro-electric materials G02F 1/3558; ferro-electric digital stores G11C 11/22})
Definition statement

This place covers:

G02F 1/055 covers device using PLZT ceramic material.

Obsolete technology.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Ceramics or electro-optical crystals, e.g. exhibiting Pockels effect or Kerr effect in an optical waveguide structure

G02F 1/035

The active material being a ceramic

G02F 1/055

Domain inversion on ferro-electric materials

G02F 1/3558

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Ferro-electric digital stores

G11C 11/22

the active material being a ceramic (G02F 1/035 takes precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Covers device using PLZT ceramic material.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

In an optical waveguide structure

G02F 1/035

based on electro-optical liquids exhibiting Kerr effect
Definition statement

This place covers:

Obsolete technology

based on magneto-optical elements, e.g. exhibiting Faraday effect
Definition statement

This place covers:

Magneto-optic effect

based on acousto-optical elements, e.g. using variable diffraction by sound or like mechanical waves ({elasto-optic effect without wave propagation G02F 1/0131; } acousto-optical deflection G02F 1/33)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Acousto-optic

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Elasto-optic effect without wave propagation

G02F 1/0131

Acousto-optical deflection

G02F 1/33

based on liquid crystals, e.g. single liquid crystal display cells (liquid crystal materials C09K 19/00)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Liquid crystal.

Groups in G02F 1/13 are also used to classify common devices features in electrochromic and Electrophoretic device (see for example US2007024954, US20100137569)

Relationships with other classification places

Control arrangement and circuits for Liquid crystal device

G09G 3/30

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Liquid crystal materials

C09K 19/00

{specially adapted for a particular application}
Special rules of classification

Not used anymore for classifying new documents.

Structural association of cells with optical devices, e.g. polarisers or reflectors
Definition statement

This place covers:

Integration of optical elements with the LCD panel.

Relationships with other classification places

When the invention concerns the optical elements (for example polarizers) themselves and the incorporation in an LCD is trivial then they should only be classified the in G02B.

Side illuminated LCD backlights employing a waveguide should be classified in G02B 6/00.

If the invention is to be used in the field of lighting (for example luminaire, with waveguide and LEDs) then F21V should also be considered

{Direct backlight}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Pattern of LEDs in an array in a direct type (i.e. without waveguide) LCD back light device.

{Edge-illuminating devices, i.e. illuminating from the side (G02B 6/0001 takes precedence)}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Backlight light employing side illumination without a waveguide.

Relationships with other classification places

Where the invention concerns the waveguide (or plurality of waveguides) shape or integrationinto the support structure on the LCD device then it should be classified in the G02B 6/001 and subgroups.

If the integration of the waveguide type side illuminated backlight involves adaptation of the general LCD panel support structure then G02F 1/133308 and its subgroups should be considered

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Light guides specially adapted for lighting devices or systems

G02B 6/0001

Conductors connecting electrodes to cell terminals
Definition statement

This place covers:

Details of the connection terminals of the LCD.

See for example US2011116028, US2011075089, US2010321624

{Conductors connecting driver circuitry and terminals of panels (H01L 21/00 takes precedence; electrical details inside the cell G02F 1/133;)}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Detail of the connection of the IC driver or PCB with the terminal pads of the LCD.

Relationships with other classification places

Further details of the PCB (printed circuit board) are in H05K. Further details concerning bonding of the drivers are in H01L 21/00 (see for example US2011108979).

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Constructional arrangements; operation of liquid crystal cells; circuit arrangements

G02F 1/133

Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or parts thereof

H01L 21/00

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Drivers integrated with an active matrix

G02F 1/13454

TAB tape automated bonding. COB chip-on-board. COG chip-on-glass.

H01L 23/00

based on an electrochromic effect
Definition statement

This place covers:

Electrochromic.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Electrochromic materials

C09K 9/00

Special rules of classification

Common devices features are also classified in G02F 1/13 and subgroups

caused by electrodeposition, e.g. electrolytic deposition of an inorganic material on or close to an electrode
Definition statement

This place covers:

Electroplating RED (Reversible electrodeposition device).

by electrophoresis
Definition statement

This place covers:

Electrophoretic

based on variable-absorption elements not provided for in groups G02F 1/015 - G02F 1/169
Definition statement

This place covers:

Variable absorption device

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Based on semiconductor elements with at least one potential jump barrier e.g. PN, PIN junction

G02F 1/015

Based on ceramics or electro-optical crystals e.g. exhibiting Pockets effect or Kerr effect

G02F 1/03

Based on electro-optical organic material

G02F 1/061

Based on electro-optical liquids exhibiting Kerr effect

G02F 1/07

Based on magneto-optical elements, e.g. exhibiting Faraday effect

G02F 1/09

Based on acousto-optical elements e.g. using variable diffraction by sound or like mechanical waves

G02F 1/11

Based on liquid crystals, e.g. single liquid crystal display cells

G02F 1/13

Based on electrochromic elements

G02F 1/15

Based on electrophoresis

G02F 1/167

Organic tenebrescent materials

C09K 9/00

{based on a suspension of orientable dipolar particles, e.g. suspended particles displays}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Suspended Particle Display

based on variable-reflection or variable-refraction elements not provided for in groups G02F 1/015 - G02F 1/169
Definition statement

This place covers:

Variable reflection device (switchable mirror using metal hydride)

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

For the control of the intensity, phase, polarization or colour...

G02F 1/01

Constructional details

G02F 1/0102

in optical waveguides

G02F 1/011

Operation of the device; Circuit arrangement not otherwise provided for

G02F 1/0121

by another light beam, i.e. opto-optical modulation

G02F 1/0126

based on electro-mechanical, magneto-mechanical, elasto-optic effects

G02F 1/0128

for the control of polarisation, e.g. state of polarisation (SOP) control, polarisation

G02F 1/0136

based on thermo-optic effects

G02F 1/0147

based on semiconductor elements with at least one potential jump barrier, e.g. PN, PIN junction

G02F 1/015

based on ceramics or electro-optical crystals, e.g. exhibiting Pockels effect or Kerr effect

G02F 1/03

based on electro-optical organic material

G02F 1/061

based on electro-optical liquids exhibiting Kerr effect

G02F 1/07

based on magneto-optical elements, e.g. exhibiting Faraday effect

G02F 1/09

based on acousto-optical elements, e.g. using variable diffraction by sound or like mechanical waves

G02F 1/11

based on liquid crystals, e.g. single liquid crystal display cells

G02F 1/13

based on electrochromic elements

G02F 1/15

based on electrophoresis

G02F 1/167

for the control of the colour (G02F 1/03 - G02F 1/21 take precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Obsolete technologies

Relationships with other classification places

Led associated with phosphor for the control of the colour of the emitted light are classified in H05B 33/00, F21K 9/00 - F21K 99/00, C09K 11/00; H01L 33/00 (US2008007172)

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Based on ceramic or electro-optical crystals, e.g. exhibiting Pockels effect or Kerr effect

G02F 1/03 - G02F 1/21

for the control of the position or the direction of light beams, i.e. deflection ({optical coupling means G02B 6/26; optical-mechanical scanning in general G02B 26/10} ; static stores with electric or magnetic read-in and optical read-out G11C; lasers provided with means to change the location from which, or the direction in which, laser radiation is emitted H01S 3/101)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices and methods for the the control or direction (deflection) of light

  • deflection of a light beam that can be spanned over a discrete number (digital) of positions, as opposed to deflection spanned over a continuous range (analog) of positions.

Analog scanner US2008112042 (Electro-optic beam steering) electro active lens US2010226000.

Deflection based on total internal reflection (TIR), producing a yes/no deflection, which is covered by group G02F 1/315.

Relationships with other classification places

Wavelength multiplexer/demultiplexer are classified in G02B 6/12007 for the optical details and in H04Q 11/0001H04J 14/02 for the control details.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Working and shaping a Laser beam

B23K 26/06

Optical coupling means

G02B 6/26

Scanning systems

G02B 26/10

Static stores

G11C

Lasers provided with means to change the location from which, or the direction in which, laser radiation is emitted

H01S 3/101

Scanning arrangement

H04N 1/04

Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Working and shaping a Laser beam

B23K 26/06

Scanning arrangement

H04N 1/04

Optical switching system

H04Q 3/52

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Optical beam shaping, splitting, combining

G02B 27/09 - G02B 27/10

Non-linear optics (optical bistable devices G02F 3/02; lasers using stimulated Brillouin or Raman effect H01S 3/30)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices and methods using nonlinear optical processes.

Frequency conversion; Harmonic generation.

Wave mixing.

Optical rectification.

Optical KERR effect.

Self de or /focusing.

Self phase modulation (Soliton propagation).

Cross phase modulation.

nonlinear absorption (optical limiter).

Optical phase conjugation.

Parametric amplification.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Optical bistable devices

G02F 3/02

Photoconductive Terahertz emitter (antenna) (Auston switch)

H01L 31/00, H01Q 9/00

Brillouin, Raman laser

H01S 3/30

Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Analysing materials by the use of optical means and of the non-linear properties of the material

G01N 21/636

Demodulating light; Transferring the modulation of modulated light; Frequency-changing of light (G02F 1/35 takes precedence; photoelectric detecting or measuring devices G01J, H01J 40/00, H01L 31/00; demodulating laser arrangements {, e.g. switching, gating} H01S 3/10; demodulation or transference of modulation of modulated electro-magnetic waves in general H03D 9/00)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Demodulating light; Transferring the modulation of modulated light.

Frequency-changing of light, e.g. by quantum counters Up-converter Infrared to visible converter, Down converter.

Frequency-changing of light using nonlinear optical effect G02F 1/35 takes precedence.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Non linear optics

G02F 1/35

Measuring optical wavelength

G01J 3/00

Measuring optical phase difference

G01J 9/00

Photoelectric discharge tubes not involving the ionisation of a gas

H01J 40/00

Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; details thereof

H01L 31/00

Controlling the intensity, frequency, phase, polarisation or direction or the emitted radiation (of lasers) e.g. switching, gating, modulating or demodulating

H01S 3/10

Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Demodulator for optical sensor

G01D 5/26

Optical receiver/ transmitter

H04B 10/00

Millimeter wave (RF) generation using optical means (Radio over Fiber system)

H04B 10/2575

Optical clock arrangement for synchronisation

H04L 7/0075

Optical demodulator for modulated carrier

H04L 27/223

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Phase antenna array (US 5859611)

H01Q 3/2676

Pulse train generation using laser

H01S

RF synthesysizer

H03B 21/00

{Transferring the modulation of modulated light, i.e. transferring the information from one optical carrier of a first wavelength to a second optical carrier of a second wavelength, e.g. all-optical wavelength converter}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Wavelength converter used to convert the carrier of high-bit-rate data from one wavelength to another

Frequency-changing of light, e.g. by quantum counters (luminescent materials C09K 11/00)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Frequency-changing of light, e.g. by quantum counters.

Obsolete technology.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Luminescent, e.g. electroluminescent, chemiluminescent materials

C09K 11/00

Optical logic elements ({optical computing G06E} ; electric pulse generators using opto-electronic devices as active elements H03K 3/42; logic circuits using opto-electronic devices H03K 19/14); Optical bistable devices
Definition statement

This place covers:

Optical logic elements, i.e. optical basic logic gates, e.g. AND, OR, NAND.

Optical bistable devices i.e. devices exhibiting two different optical output states for a same optical input value.

This group is not active.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Optical computing

G06E

Electric-pulse generators using opto-electronic devices as active elements

H03K 3/42

Logic circuits using opto-electronic devices

H03K 19/14

Optical bistable devices
Definition statement

This place covers:

Obsolete technology.

Optical analogue/digital converters
Definition statement

This place covers:

Optical analogue/digital converters

This group covers only converters based in substantial manner on elements which are provided for in group G02F 1/00.

References
Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Conversion of a code using opto-electronic devices

H03M 7/008