Facebook Patent | Methods For Wafer-To-Wafer Bonding

Patent: Methods For Wafer-To-Wafer Bonding

Publication Number: 20200083399

Publication Date: 20200312

Applicants: Facebook

Abstract

Disclosed herein are techniques for wafer-to-wafer bonding for manufacturing light emitting diodes (LEDs). In some embodiments, a method of manufacturing LEDs includes modifying a p-type layer of a semiconductor material to form a plurality of alternating high resistivity areas and low resistivity areas, wherein the low resistivity areas correspond to light emitters; bonding a base wafer to a first surface of the p-type layer; removing a substrate from a second surface of the semiconductor material, wherein the second surface of the semiconductor material is opposite to the first surface of the p-type layer; and patterning a trench between each adjacent pair of the light emitters.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 119 to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/729,826, filed on Sep. 11, 2018, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Light emitting diodes (LEDs) convert electrical energy into optical energy. In semiconductor LEDs, light is usually generated through recombination of electrons and holes within a semiconductor layer. A challenge in the field of LEDs is to extract as much of the emitted light as possible toward the desired direction. Various approaches may be used to increase the efficiency of an LED, such as adjusting the shape of the semiconductor layer, roughening the surface of the semiconductor layer, and using additional optics to redirect or focus the light.

SUMMARY

[0003] LEDs may be formed in a one-dimensional array or a two-dimensional array. Various manufacturing methods may be used, such as wafer-to-wafer bonding or pick-and-place techniques. In wafer-to-wafer bonding, an LED wafer having epitaxial layers may be flip-chip bonded to a base wafer having a driver circuit. After the two wafers have been bonded, the individual LEDs are singulated. Wafer-to-wafer bonding allows smaller LEDs to be manufactured than pick-and-place techniques, because it is unnecessary to pick, place, and bond individual LEDs. For example, LEDs having a chip diameter down to 1 .mu.m can be manufactured with wafer-to-wafer bonding. However, related art wafer-to-wafer bonding methods may suffer from low light extraction efficiency.

[0004] The present disclosure generally relates to wafer-to-wafer bonding for manufacturing LEDs. In some embodiments, a method of manufacturing LEDs includes modifying a p-type layer of a semiconductor material to form a plurality of alternating high resistivity areas and low resistivity areas, wherein the low resistivity areas correspond to light emitters; bonding a base wafer to a first surface of the p-type layer; removing a substrate from a second surface of the semiconductor material, wherein the second surface of the semiconductor material is opposite to the first surface of the p-type layer; and patterning a trench between each adjacent pair of the light emitters.

[0005] The method may also include forming a lens on a portion of the second surface of the semiconductor material corresponding to one of the plurality of light emitters. The semiconductor material may include, in order, an n-type layer, a quantum well layer, and the p-type layer.

[0006] The method may also include, before bonding the base wafer to the first surface of the p-type layer, planarizing the first surface of the p-type layer and depositing a bonding layer on the first surface of the p-type layer. The base wafer may be bonded to the first surface of the p-type layer via the bonding layer.

[0007] The method may also include, before bonding the base wafer to the first surface of the p-type layer, depositing a contact layer on the first surface of the p-type layer, and depositing a bonding layer on the first surface of the p-type layer. The base wafer may be bonded to the first surface of the p-type layer via the contact layer and the bonding layer. The bonding layer and the contact layer may be made of different metals or the same metal.

[0008] The base wafer may include a plurality of driver circuits, and the method may also include aligning the plurality of driver circuits with the light emitters while bonding the base wafer to the bonding layer. The base layer may be bonded to the bonding layer by metal-to-metal bonding. Alternatively or in addition, the base layer may be bonded to the bonding layer by eutectic bonding. Alternatively or in addition, the base layer is bonded to the bonding layer by metal-oxide fusion bonding. Alternatively or in addition, the base layer may be bonded to the bonding layer by anodic bonding, thermocompression bonding, ultraviolet bonding, and/or oxide bonding.

[0009] The method may also include, before bonding the base wafer to the first surface of the p-type layer, depositing a metal layer on the light emitters, and depositing an oxide layer on the high resistivity areas. The base wafer may be bonded to the first surface of the p-type layer via the metal layer and the oxide layer. Bonding the base wafer to the first surface of the p-type layer may include forming a first bond and subsequently performing a process to enhance the first bond or to form a second bond. The first bond may be formed via the oxide layer and the second bond may be formed via the metal layer.

[0010] The substrate may be removed by focusing a laser beam at an interface between the substrate and the semiconductor material. The trenches may be patterned by lithography. The method may also include roughening a portion of the second surface of the semiconductor material corresponding to one of the plurality of light emitters.

[0011] This summary is neither intended to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used in isolation to determine the scope of the claimed subject matter. The subject matter should be understood by reference to appropriate portions of the entire specification of this disclosure, any or all drawings, and each claim. The foregoing, together with other features and examples, will be described in more detail below in the following specification, claims, and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] Illustrative embodiments are described in detail below with reference to the following figures:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram of an example artificial reality system environment including a near-eye display, according to certain embodiments;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a simplified example near-eye display including various sensors;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an example near-eye display in the form of a head-mounted display (HMD) device for implementing some of the examples disclosed herein;* and*

[0016] FIG. 4 is a simplified block diagram of an example electronic system of an example near-eye display for implementing some of the examples disclosed herein;

[0017] FIGS. 5A-5F illustrate a method of wafer-to-wafer bonding for manufacturing LEDs;

[0018] FIGS. 6A-6J illustrate another method of wafer-to-wafer bonding for manufacturing LEDs;

[0019] FIGS. 7A-7G illustrate yet another method of wafer-to-wafer bonding for manufacturing LEDs;

[0020] FIGS. 8A-8C illustrate various methods of bonding a base wafer to a semiconductor wafer;* and*

[0021] FIGS. 9A-9D illustrate a method of forming a surface for wafer-to-wafer bonding.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] In the following description, for the purposes of explanation, specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of examples of the disclosure. However, it will be apparent that various examples may be practiced without these specific details. For example, devices, systems, structures, assemblies, methods, and other components may be shown as components in block diagram form in order not to obscure the examples in unnecessary detail. In other instances, well-known devices, processes, systems, structures, and techniques may be shown without necessary detail in order to avoid obscuring the examples. The figures and description are not intended to be restrictive. The terms and expressions that have been employed in this disclosure are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof.

[0023] As used herein, visible light may refer to light with a wavelength between about 400 nm and about 750 nm. Near infrared (NIR) light may refer to light with a wavelength between about 750 nm and about 2500 nm. The desired infrared (IR) wavelength range may refer to the wavelength range of IR light that can be detected by a suitable IR sensor (e.g., a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) or a charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor), such as between 830 nm and 860 nm or between 930 nm and 980 nm.

[0024] As also used herein, a substrate may refer to a medium within which an array of chirped gratings may be inscribed. A chirped grating may refer to a grating whose pitch and angle of orientation changes over the extent of the grating. The substrate may include one or more types of dielectric materials, such as glass, quartz, plastic, polymer, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), crystal, or ceramic. At least one type of material of the substrate may be transparent to visible light and NIR light. A thickness of the substrate may range from, for example, less than about 1 mm to less than about 10 mm. As used herein, a material may be “transparent” to a light beam if the light beam can pass through the material with a high transmission rate, such as larger than 60%, 75%, 80%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99%, or higher, where a small portion of the light beam (e.g., less than 40%, 25%, 20%, 10%, 5%, 2%, 1%, or less) may be scattered, reflected, or absorbed by the material. The transmission rate (i.e., transmissivity) may be represented by either a photopically weighted or an unweighted average transmission rate over a range of wavelengths, or the lowest transmission rate over a range of wavelengths, such as the visible wavelength range. Alternatively, a substrate may refer to a medium that is suitable for growing a semiconductor material. For example, the substrate may be made of sapphire, and the semiconductor material may be made of GaN. Other non-limiting examples of materials that may be used for the substrate include GaN, silicon, SiC, GaAs, and GaP.

[0025] An artificial reality system, such as a virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or mixed reality (MR) system, may include a near-eye display (e.g., a headset or a pair of glasses) configured to present content to a user via an electronic or optic display and, in some cases, may also include a console configured to generate content for presentation to the user and to provide the generated content to the near-eye display for presentation. To improve user interaction with presented content, the console may modify or generate content based on a location where the user is looking, which may be determined by tracking the user’s eye. Tracking the eye may include tracking the position and/or shape of the pupil of the eye, and/or the rotational position (gaze direction) of the eye. To track the eye, the near-eye display may illuminate a surface of the user’s eye using light sources mounted to or within the near-eye display, according to at least one embodiment. An imaging device (e.g., a camera) included in the vicinity of the near-eye display may then capture light reflected by various surfaces of the user’s eye. Light that is reflected specularly off the cornea of the user’s eye may result in “glints” in the captured image. One way to illuminate the eye to see the pupil as well as the glints is to use a two-dimensional (2D) array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Techniques such as a centroiding algorithm may be used to accurately determine the locations of the glints on the eye in the captured image, and the rotational position (e.g., the gaze direction) of the eye may then be determined based on the locations of the glints relative to a known feature of the eye (e.g., the center of the pupil) within the captured image.

[0026] FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram of an example artificial reality system environment 100 including a near-eye display 120, in accordance with certain embodiments. Artificial reality system environment 100 shown in FIG. 1 may include a near-eye display 120, an external imaging device 150, and an input/output interface 140 that are each coupled to a console 110. While FIG. 1 shows example artificial reality system environment 100 including one near-eye display 120, one external imaging device 150, and one input/output interface 140, any number of these components may be included in artificial reality system environment 100, or any of the components may be omitted. For example, there may be multiple near-eye displays 120 monitored by one or more external imaging devices 150 in communication with console 110. In alternative configurations, different or additional components may be included in artificial reality system environment 100.

[0027] Near-eye display 120 may be a head-mounted display that presents content to a user. Examples of content presented by near-eye display 120 include one or more of images, videos, audios, or some combination thereof. In some embodiments, audio may be presented via an external device (e.g., speakers and/or headphones) that receives audio information from near-eye display 120, console 110, or both, and presents audio data based on the audio information. Near-eye display 120 may include one or more rigid bodies, which may be rigidly or non-rigidly coupled to each other. A rigid coupling between rigid bodies may cause the coupled rigid bodies to act as a single rigid entity. A non-rigid coupling between rigid bodies may allow the rigid bodies to move relative to each other. In various embodiments, near-eye display 120 may be implemented in any suitable form factor, including a pair of glasses. Additionally, in various embodiments, the functionality described herein may be used in a headset that combines images of an environment external to near-eye display 120 and content received from console 110, or from any other console generating and providing content to a user. Therefore, near-eye display 120, and methods for eye tracking described herein, may augment images of a physical, real-world environment external to near-eye display 120 with generated content (e.g., images, video, sound, etc.) to present an augmented reality to a user.

[0028] In various embodiments, near-eye display 120 may include one or more of display electronics 122, display optics 124, one or more locators 126, one or more position sensors 128, an eye-tracking unit 130, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) 132. Near-eye display 120 may omit any of these elements or include additional elements in various embodiments. Additionally, in some embodiments, near-eye display 120 may include elements combining the function of various elements described in conjunction with FIG. 1.

[0029] Display electronics 122 may display images to the user according to data received from console 110. In various embodiments, display electronics 122 may include one or more display panels, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display, a micro-LED display, an active-matrix OLED display (AMOLED), a transparent OLED display (TOLED), or some other display. For example, in one implementation of near-eye display 120, display electronics 122 may include a front TOLED panel, a rear display panel, and an optical component (e.g., an attenuator, polarizer, or diffractive or spectral film) between the front and rear display panels. Display electronics 122 may include sub-pixels to emit light of a predominant color such as red, green, blue, white, or yellow. In some implementations, display electronics 122 may display a 3D image through stereo effects produced by two-dimensional panels to create a subjective perception of image depth. For example, display electronics 122 may include a left display and a right display positioned in front of a user’s left eye and right eye, respectively. The left and right displays may present copies of an image shifted horizontally relative to each other to create a stereoscopic effect (i.e., a perception of image depth by a user viewing the image).

[0030] In certain embodiments, display optics 124 may display image content optically (e.g., using optical waveguides and couplers), or magnify image light received from display electronics 122, correct optical errors associated with the image light, and present the corrected image light to a user of near-eye display 120. In various embodiments, display optics 124 may include one or more optical elements. Example optical elements may include a substrate, optical waveguides, an aperture, a Fresnel lens, a convex lens, a concave lens, a filter, or any other suitable optical element that may affect image light emitted from display electronics 122. Display optics 124 may include a combination of different optical elements as well as mechanical couplings to maintain relative spacing and orientation of the optical elements in the combination. One or more optical elements in display optics 124 may have an optical coating, such as an anti-reflective coating, a reflective coating, a filtering coating, or a combination of different optical coatings.

[0031] Magnification of the image light by display optics 124 may allow display electronics 122 to be physically smaller, weigh less, and consume less power than larger displays. Additionally, magnification may increase a field of view of the displayed content. In some embodiments, display optics 124 may have an effective focal length larger than the spacing between display optics 124 and display electronics 122 to magnify image light projected by display electronics 122. The amount of magnification of image light by display optics 124 may be adjusted by adding or removing optical elements from display optics 124.

[0032] Display optics 124 may be designed to correct one or more types of optical errors, such as two-dimensional optical errors, three-dimensional optical errors, or a combination thereof. Two-dimensional errors may include optical aberrations that occur in two dimensions. Example types of two-dimensional errors may include barrel distortion, pincushion distortion, longitudinal chromatic aberration, and transverse chromatic aberration. Three-dimensional errors may include optical errors that occur in three dimensions. Example types of three-dimensional errors may include spherical aberration, comatic aberration, field curvature, and astigmatism. In some embodiments, content provided to display electronics 122 for display may be pre-distorted, and display optics 124 may correct the distortion when it receives image light from display electronics 122 generated based on the pre-distorted content.

[0033] Locators 126 may be objects located in specific positions on near-eye display 120 relative to one another and relative to a reference point on near-eye display 120. Console 110 may identify locators 126 in images captured by external imaging device 150 to determine the artificial reality headset’s position, orientation, or both. A locator 126 may be a light emitting diode (LED), a corner cube reflector, a reflective marker, a type of light source that contrasts with an environment in which near-eye display 120 operates, or some combinations thereof. In embodiments where locators 126 are active components (e.g., LEDs or other types of light emitting devices), locators 126 may emit light in the visible band (e.g., about 380 nm to 750 nm), in the infrared (IR) band (e.g., about 750 nm to 1 mm), in the ultraviolet band (e.g., about 10 nm to about 380 nm), in another portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, or in any combination of portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

[0034] In some embodiments, locators 126 may be located beneath an outer surface of near-eye display 120. A portion of near-eye display 120 between a locator 126 and an entity external to near-eye display 120 (e.g., external imaging device 150, a user viewing the outer surface of near-eye display 120) may be transparent to the wavelengths of light emitted or reflected by locators 126 or is thin enough to not substantially attenuate the light emitted or reflected by locators 126. In some embodiments, the outer surface or other portions of near-eye display 120 may be opaque in the visible band, but is transparent in the IR band, and locators 126 may be under the outer surface and may emit light in the IR band.

[0035] External imaging device 150 may generate slow calibration data based on calibration parameters received from console 110. Slow calibration data may include one or more images showing observed positions of locators 126 that are detectable by external imaging device 150. External imaging device 150 may include one or more cameras, one or more video cameras, any other device capable of capturing images including one or more of locators 126, or some combinations thereof. Additionally, external imaging device 150 may include one or more filters (e.g., to increase signal to noise ratio). External imaging device 150 may be configured to detect light emitted or reflected from locators 126 in a field of view of external imaging device 150. In embodiments where locators 126 include passive elements (e.g., retroreflectors), external imaging device 150 may include a light source that illuminates some or all of locators 126, which may retro-reflect the light to the light source in external imaging device 150. Slow calibration data may be communicated from external imaging device 150 to console 110, and external imaging device 150 may receive one or more calibration parameters from console 110 to adjust one or more imaging parameters (e.g., focal length, focus, frame rate, sensor temperature, shutter speed, aperture, etc.).

[0036] Position sensors 128 may generate one or more measurement signals in response to motion of near-eye display 120. Examples of position sensors 128 may include accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, other motion-detecting or error-correcting sensors, or some combinations thereof. For example, in some embodiments, position sensors 128 may include multiple accelerometers to measure translational motion (e.g., forward/back, up/down, or left/right) and multiple gyroscopes to measure rotational motion (e.g., pitch, yaw, or roll). In some embodiments, various position sensors may be oriented orthogonally to each other.

[0037] IMU 132 may be an electronic device that generates fast calibration data based on measurement signals received from one or more of position sensors 128. Position sensors 128 may be located external to IMU 132, internal to IMU 132, or some combination thereof. Based on the one or more measurement signals from one or more position sensors 128, IMU 132 may generate fast calibration data indicating an estimated position of near-eye display 120 relative to an initial position of near-eye display 120. For example, IMU 132 may integrate measurement signals received from accelerometers over time to estimate a velocity vector and integrate the velocity vector over time to determine an estimated position of a reference point on near-eye display 120. Alternatively, IMU 132 may provide the sampled measurement signals to console 110, which may determine the fast calibration data. While the reference point may generally be defined as a point in space, in various embodiments, the reference point may also be defined as a point within near-eye display 120 (e.g., a center of IMU 132).

[0038] Eye-tracking unit 130 may include one or more imaging devices configured to capture eye tracking data, which an eye-tracking module 118 in console 110 may use to track the user’s eye. Eye tracking data may refer to data output by eye-tracking unit 130. Example eye tracking data may include images captured by eye-tracking unit 130 or information derived from the images captured by eye-tracking unit 130. Eye tracking may refer to determining an eye’s position, including orientation and location of the eye, relative to near-eye display 120. For example, eye-tracking module 118 may output the eye’s pitch and yaw based on images of the eye captured by eye-tracking unit 130. In various embodiments, eye-tracking unit 130 may measure electromagnetic energy reflected by the eye and communicate the measured electromagnetic energy to eye-tracking module 118, which may then determine the eye’s position based on the measured electromagnetic energy. For example, eye-tracking unit 130 may measure electromagnetic waves such as visible light, infrared light, radio waves, microwaves, waves in any other part of the electromagnetic spectrum, or a combination thereof reflected by an eye of a user.

[0039] Eye-tracking unit 130 may include one or more eye-tracking systems. An eye-tracking system may include an imaging system to image one or more eyes and may optionally include a light emitter, which may generate light that is directed to an eye such that light reflected by the eye may be captured by the imaging system. For example, eye-tracking unit 130 may include a coherent light source (e.g., a VCSEL) emitting light in the visible spectrum or infrared spectrum, and a camera capturing the light reflected by the user’s eye. As another example, eye-tracking unit 130 may capture reflected radio waves emitted by a miniature radar unit. Eye-tracking unit 130 may use low-power light emitters that emit light at frequencies and intensities that would not injure the eye or cause physical discomfort. Eye-tracking unit 130 may be arranged to increase contrast in images of an eye captured by eye-tracking unit 130 while reducing the overall power consumed by eye-tracking unit 130 (e.g., reducing power consumed by a light emitter and an imaging system included in eye-tracking unit 130). For example, in some implementations, eye-tracking unit 130 may consume less than 100 milliwatts of power.

[0040] In some embodiments, eye-tracking unit 130 may include one light emitter and one camera to track each of the user’s eyes. In other embodiments, eye-tracking unit 130 may include a plurality of light emitters and one camera to track each of the user’s eyes. Eye-tracking unit 130 may also include different eye-tracking systems that operate together to provide improved eye tracking accuracy and responsiveness. For example, eye-tracking unit 130 may include a fast eye-tracking system with a fast response time and a slow eye-tracking system with a slower response time. The fast eye-tracking system may frequently measure an eye to capture data used by eye-tracking module 118 to determine the eye’s position relative to a reference eye position. The slow eye-tracking system may independently measure the eye to capture data used by eye-tracking module 118 to determine the reference eye position without reference to a previously determined eye position. Data captured by the slow eye-tracking system may allow eye-tracking module 118 to determine the reference eye position with greater accuracy than the eye’s position determined from data captured by the fast eye-tracking system. In various embodiments, the slow eye-tracking system may provide eye-tracking data to eye-tracking module 118 at a lower frequency than the fast eye-tracking system. For example, the slow eye-tracking system may operate less frequently or have a slower response time to conserve power.

[0041] Eye-tracking unit 130 may be configured to estimate the orientation of the user’s eye. The orientation of the eye may correspond to the direction of the user’s gaze within near-eye display 120. The orientation of the user’s eye may be defined as the direction of the foveal axis, which is the axis between the fovea (an area on the retina of the eye with the highest concentration of photoreceptors) and the center of the eye’s pupil. In general, when a user’s eyes are fixed on a point, the foveal axes of the user’s eyes intersect that point. The pupillary axis of an eye may be defined as the axis that passes through the center of the pupil and is perpendicular to the corneal surface. In general, even though the pupillary axis and the foveal axis intersect at the center of the pupil, the pupillary axis may not directly align with the foveal axis. For example, the orientation of the foveal axis may be offset from the pupillary axis by approximately -1.degree. to 8.degree. laterally and about .+-.4.degree. vertically. Because the foveal axis is defined according to the fovea, which is located in the back of the eye, the foveal axis may be difficult or impossible to measure directly in some eye tracking embodiments. Accordingly, in some embodiments, the orientation of the pupillary axis may be detected and the foveal axis may be estimated based on the detected pupillary axis.

[0042] In general, the movement of an eye corresponds not only to an angular rotation of the eye, but also to a translation of the eye, a change in the torsion of the eye, and/or a change in the shape of the eye. Eye-tracking unit 130 may also be configured to detect the translation of the eye, which may be a change in the position of the eye relative to the eye socket. In some embodiments, the translation of the eye may not be detected directly, but may be approximated based on a mapping from a detected angular orientation. Translation of the eye corresponding to a change in the eye’s position relative to the eye-tracking unit may also be detected. Translation of this type may occur, for example, due to a shift in the position of near-eye display 120 on a user’s head. Eye-tracking unit 130 may also detect the torsion of the eye and the rotation of the eye about the pupillary axis. Eye-tracking unit 130 may use the detected torsion of the eye to estimate the orientation of the foveal axis from the pupillary axis. Eye-tracking unit 130 may also track a change in the shape of the eye, which may be approximated as a skew or scaling linear transform or a twisting distortion (e.g., due to torsional deformation). Eye-tracking unit 130 may estimate the foveal axis based on some combinations of the angular orientation of the pupillary axis, the translation of the eye, the torsion of the eye, and the current shape of the eye.

[0043] In some embodiments, eye-tracking unit 130 may include multiple emitters or at least one emitter that can project a structured light pattern on all portions or a portion of the eye. The structured light pattern may be distorted due to the shape of the eye when viewed from an offset angle. Eye-tracking unit 130 may also include at least one camera that may detect the distortions (if any) of the structured light pattern projected onto the eye. The camera may be oriented on a different axis to the eye than the emitter. By detecting the deformation of the structured light pattern on the surface of the eye, eye-tracking unit 130 may determine the shape of the portion of the eye being illuminated by the structured light pattern. Therefore, the captured distorted light pattern may be indicative of the 3D shape of the illuminated portion of the eye. The orientation of the eye may thus be derived from the 3D shape of the illuminated portion of the eye. Eye-tracking unit 130 can also estimate the pupillary axis, the translation of the eye, the torsion of the eye, and the current shape of the eye based on the image of the distorted structured light pattern captured by the camera.

[0044] Near-eye display 120 may use the orientation of the eye to, e.g., determine an inter-pupillary distance (IPD) of the user, determine gaze direction, introduce depth cues (e.g., blur image outside of the user’s main line of sight), collect heuristics on the user interaction in the VR media (e.g., time spent on any particular subject, object, or frame as a function of exposed stimuli), some other functions that are based in part on the orientation of at least one of the user’s eyes, or some combination thereof. Because the orientation may be determined for both eyes of the user, eye-tracking unit 130 may be able to determine where the user is looking. For example, determining a direction of a user’s gaze may include determining a point of convergence based on the determined orientations of the user’s left and right eyes. A point of convergence may be the point where the two foveal axes of the user’s eyes intersect (or the nearest point between the two axes). The direction of the user’s gaze may be the direction of a line passing through the point of convergence and the mid-point between the pupils of the user’s eyes.

[0045] Input/output interface 140 may be a device that allows a user to send action requests to console 110. An action request may be a request to perform a particular action. For example, an action request may be to start or to end an application or to perform a particular action within the application. Input/output interface 140 may include one or more input devices. Example input devices may include a keyboard, a mouse, a game controller, a glove, a button, a touch screen, or any other suitable device for receiving action requests and communicating the received action requests to console 110. An action request received by the input/output interface 140 may be communicated to console 110, which may perform an action corresponding to the requested action. In some embodiments, input/output interface 140 may provide haptic feedback to the user in accordance with instructions received from console 110. For example, input/output interface 140 may provide haptic feedback when an action request is received, or when console 110 has performed a requested action and communicates instructions to input/output interface 140.

[0046] Console 110 may provide content to near-eye display 120 for presentation to the user in accordance with information received from one or more of external imaging device 150, near-eye display 120, and input/output interface 140. In the example shown in FIG. 1, console 110 may include an application store 112, a headset tracking module 114, a virtual reality engine 116, and eye-tracking module 118. Some embodiments of console 110 may include different or additional modules than those described in conjunction with FIG. 1. Functions further described below may be distributed among components of console 110 in a different manner than is described here.

[0047] In some embodiments, console 110 may include a processor and a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions executable by the processor. The processor may include multiple processing units executing instructions in parallel. The computer-readable storage medium may be any memory, such as a hard disk drive, a removable memory, or a solid-state drive (e.g., flash memory or dynamic random access memory (DRAM)). In various embodiments, the modules of console 110 described in conjunction with FIG. 1 may be encoded as instructions in the non-transitory computer-readable storage medium that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the functions further described below.

[0048] Application store 112 may store one or more applications for execution by console 110. An application may include a group of instructions that, when executed by a processor, generates content for presentation to the user. Content generated by an application may be in response to inputs received from the user via movement of the user’s eyes or inputs received from the input/output interface 140. Examples of the applications may include gaming applications, conferencing applications, video playback application, or other suitable applications.

[0049] Headset tracking module 114 may track movements of near-eye display 120 using slow calibration information from external imaging device 150. For example, headset tracking module 114 may determine positions of a reference point of near-eye display 120 using observed locators from the slow calibration information and a model of near-eye display 120. Headset tracking module 114 may also determine positions of a reference point of near-eye display 120 using position information from the fast calibration information. Additionally, in some embodiments, headset tracking module 114 may use portions of the fast calibration information, the slow calibration information, or some combination thereof, to predict a future location of near-eye display 120. Headset tracking module 114 may provide the estimated or predicted future position of near-eye display 120 to VR engine 116.

[0050] Headset tracking module 114 may calibrate the artificial reality system environment 100 using one or more calibration parameters, and may adjust one or more calibration parameters to reduce errors in determining the position of near-eye display 120. For example, headset tracking module 114 may adjust the focus of external imaging device 150 to obtain a more accurate position for observed locators on near-eye display 120. Moreover, calibration performed by headset tracking module 114 may also account for information received from IMU 132. Additionally, if tracking of near-eye display 120 is lost (e.g., external imaging device 150 loses line of sight of at least a threshold number of locators 126), headset tracking module 114 may re-calibrate some or all of the calibration parameters.

[0051] VR engine 116 may execute applications within artificial reality system environment 100 and receive position information of near-eye display 120, acceleration information of near-eye display 120, velocity information of near-eye display 120, predicted future positions of near-eye display 120, or some combination thereof from headset tracking module 114. VR engine 116 may also receive estimated eye position and orientation information from eye-tracking module 118. Based on the received information, VR engine 116 may determine content to provide to near-eye display 120 for presentation to the user. For example, if the received information indicates that the user has looked to the left, VR engine 116 may generate content for near-eye display 120 that mirrors the user’s eye movement in a virtual environment. Additionally, VR engine 116 may perform an action within an application executing on console 110 in response to an action request received from input/output interface 140, and provide feedback to the user indicating that the action has been performed. The feedback may be visual or audible feedback via near-eye display 120 or haptic feedback via input/output interface 140.

[0052] Eye-tracking module 118 may receive eye-tracking data from eye-tracking unit 130 and determine the position of the user’s eye based on the eye tracking data. The position of the eye may include an eye’s orientation, location, or both relative to near-eye display 120 or any element thereof. Because the eye’s axes of rotation change as a function of the eye’s location in its socket, determining the eye’s location in its socket may allow eye-tracking module 118 to more accurately determine the eye’s orientation.

[0053] In some embodiments, eye-tracking unit 130 may output eye-tracking data including images of the eye, and eye-tracking module 118 may determine the eye’s position based on the images. For example, eye-tracking module 118 may store a mapping between images captured by eye-tracking unit 130 and eye positions to determine a reference eye position from an image captured by eye-tracking unit 130. Alternatively or additionally, eye-tracking module 118 may determine an updated eye position relative to a reference eye position by comparing an image from which the reference eye position is determined to an image from which the updated eye position is to be determined. Eye-tracking module 118 may determine eye position using measurements from different imaging devices or other sensors. For example, as described above, eye-tracking module 118 may use measurements from a slow eye-tracking system to determine a reference eye position, and then determine updated positions relative to the reference eye position from a fast eye-tracking system until a next reference eye position is determined based on measurements from the slow eye-tracking system.

[0054] Eye-tracking module 118 may also determine eye calibration parameters to improve precision and accuracy of eye tracking. Eye calibration parameters may include parameters that may change whenever a user dons or adjusts near-eye display 120. Example eye calibration parameters may include an estimated distance between a component of eye-tracking unit 130 and one or more parts of the eye, such as the eye’s center, pupil, cornea boundary, or a point on the surface of the eye. Other example eye calibration parameters may be specific to a particular user and may include an estimated average eye radius, an average corneal radius, an average sclera radius, a map of features on the eye surface, and an estimated eye surface contour. In embodiments where light from the outside of near-eye display 120 may reach the eye (as in some augmented reality applications), the calibration parameters may include correction factors for intensity and color balance due to variations in light from the outside of near-eye display 120. Eye-tracking module 118 may use eye calibration parameters to determine whether the measurements captured by eye-tracking unit 130 would allow eye-tracking module 118 to determine an accurate eye position (also referred to herein as “valid measurements”). Invalid measurements, from which eye-tracking module 118 may not be able to determine an accurate eye position, may be caused by the user blinking, adjusting the headset, or removing the headset, and/or may be caused by near-eye display 120 experiencing greater than a threshold change in illumination due to external light.

[0055] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a simplified example near-eye display 200 including various sensors. Near-eye display 200 may be a specific implementation of near-eye display 120 of FIG. 1, and may be configured to operate as a virtual reality display, an augmented reality display, and/or a mixed reality display. Near-eye display 200 may include a frame 205 and a display 210. Display 210 may be configured to present content to a user. In some embodiments, display 210 may include display electronics and/or display optics. For example, as described above with respect to near-eye display 120 of FIG. 1, display 210 may include an LCD display panel, an LED display panel, or an optical display panel (e.g., a waveguide display assembly).

[0056] Near-eye display 200 may further include various sensors 250a, 250b, 250c, 250d, and 250e on or within frame 205. In some embodiments, sensors 250a-250e may include one or more depth sensors, motion sensors, position sensors, inertial sensors, or ambient light sensors. In some embodiments, sensors 250a-250e may include one or more image sensors configured to generate image data representing different fields of views in different directions. In some embodiments, sensors 250a-250e may be used as input devices to control or influence the displayed content of near-eye display 200, and/or to provide an interactive VR/AR/MR experience to a user of near-eye display 200. In some embodiments, sensors 250a-250e may also be used for stereoscopic imaging.

[0057] In some embodiments, near-eye display 200 may further include one or more illuminators 230 to project light into the physical environment. The projected light may be associated with different frequency bands (e.g., visible light, infra-red light, ultra-violet light, etc.), and may serve various purposes. For example, illuminator(s) 230 may project light in a dark environment (or in an environment with low intensity of infra-red light, ultra-violet light, etc.) to assist sensors 250a-250e in capturing images of different objects within the dark environment. In some embodiments, illuminator(s) 230 may be used to project certain light pattern onto the objects within the environment. In some embodiments, illuminator(s) 230 may be used as locators, such as locators 126 described above with respect to FIG. 1.

[0058] In some embodiments, near-eye display 200 may also include a high-resolution camera 240. Camera 240 may capture images of the physical environment in the field of view. The captured images may be processed, for example, by a virtual reality engine (e.g., virtual reality engine 116 of FIG. 1) to add virtual objects to the captured images or modify physical objects in the captured images, and the processed images may be displayed to the user by display 210 for AR or MR applications.

[0059] Embodiments of the invention may include or be implemented in conjunction with an artificial reality system. Artificial reality is a form of reality that has been adjusted in some manner before presentation to a user, which may include, e.g., a virtual reality (VR), an augmented reality (AR), a mixed reality (MR), a hybrid reality, or some combination and/or derivatives thereof. Artificial reality content may include completely generated content or generated content combined with captured (e.g., real-world) content. The artificial reality content may include video, audio, haptic feedback, or some combination thereof, and any of which may be presented in a single channel or in multiple channels (such as stereo video that produces a three-dimensional effect to the viewer). Additionally, in some embodiments, artificial reality may also be associated with applications, products, accessories, services, or some combination thereof, that are used to, e.g., create content in an artificial reality and/or are otherwise used in (e.g., perform activities in) an artificial reality. The artificial reality system that provides the artificial reality content may be implemented on various platforms, including a head-mounted display (HMD) connected to a host computer system, a standalone HMD, a mobile device or computing system, or any other hardware platform capable of providing artificial reality content to one or more viewers.