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SBIR Phase I: Nanostructured Optical Fiber Breathing Sensors

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
NanoSonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Pembroke, VA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: SBIR Phase I: Nanostructured Optical Fiber Breathing Sensors
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0232852
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop optical fiber sensors for the quantitative measurement of humidity and air flow for use in medical diagnostics for breathing. Initial research indicates that these physically small and mechanically robust sensors respond over a wide range of relative humidities, with a response time of microseconds, orders of magnitude faster than commercially available devices. In the project, a molecular-level electrostatic self-assembly (ESA) processing method will be used to form multilayered, interleaved metal nanocluster and polymer thin films on the distal ends of optical fibers to form the sensors. The project will involve work with a biomedical institute partner to develop the sensor thin film chemistries with improved response, and to design and fabricate the optical fiber sensor support instrumentation system. The Optical Science and Engineering Research Center at Virginia Tech will assist in thin film materials analysis and optical device testing. Commercially, these small, rugged, intrinsically safe, ultra-fast optical fiber-based humidity and air flow sensors offer an attractive and low-cost approach to breathing diagnostics for both clinical research and home health care. Additional large markets for similar sensors exist in the industrial gas flow, automotive and transportation areas.

Principal Investigator:

Jeffrey Mecham

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Nanosonic Incorporated
P.O. Box 618 Christiansburg, VA 24068

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No