The Age of Materials

In a recent LinkedIn post, @Kai Beckmann from Merck used the phrase “The Age of Materials” to describe the shift from breakthroughs driven mainly by improvements in equipment and processing over the past two decades, to fundamental breakthroughs enabled by innovative next-gen materials. While he was referring to chipmaking, it instantly resonated with me as we’ve been hearing the same concept from customers for the past 2-3 years.


Case in point: Until about five years ago, the 1.50 refractive index of organic monomers was “good enough” to support the optics/optical requirements for displays, sensors, and early-stage XR (extended reality) devices. This is no longer the case. In fact, the refractive-index boost achieved by incorporating high-index and finely dispersed inorganic nanomaterials into organic monomers didn’t just introduce an “enabling game-changer”; it became a fundamental requirement to achieve the extreme optical and mechanical properties of current and planned XR devices, displays, and sensors. And the properties are only becoming more extreme.


The benefits of using high-index materials include:


  • Thinner Screens for XR devices, smartphones, tablets, and laptops, resulting in increased brightness, longer battery life, less heat, and reduced weight.
  • Improved Optical Performance by reducing optical distortions such as color fringing and aberrations, resulting in sharp, clear, and vibrant visuals in various display applications.
  • Wider Fields of View / Viewing Angles allowing users to experience improved immersion with consistent and accurate colors from various positions.
  • Improved Light Efficiency/Brightness by optimizing the transmission of light through optical components, which is essential for creating vibrant and lifelike XR visuals.
  • Improved Sensitivity of sensors by optimizing the interaction between the incoming signals (such as light or electromagnetic waves) and the sensor material, resulting in more accurate and responsive sensor readings.
  • Miniaturization, enabling the design and fabrication of smaller sensor components without sacrificing performance. This is particularly crucial in applications where space is limited, like mobile devices, wearables, or medical implants.


Pixelligent has been refining the development and mass production of high-refractive, inorganic, 3nm-20nm capped Zirconia, Titania, and PixCor™ nanocrystals and formulations for over 15 years. Our PixNIL®, PixJet®, and PixClear® products, deliver refractive indices up to 2.0, have >95% transparency, virtually no haze, and have robust mechanical properties. What’s more, with the ability to control the critical components of high-index formulations, Pixelligent can fine-tune target properties in ways that competitors can’t match and leading consumer electronics companies demand, for their state-of-the-art XR, display, and sensor applications.


To learn more about how Pixelligent can help you meet your exacting optical requirements please visit or send a note to: Alex Everett at for customers in the US; Vincent Jao at for customers in China, Japan, and Taiwan; and Michael Kim at for customers in The Republic of Korea.

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