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SBIR Phase I: Liquid lens for laser nanomachining

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
Photon Energy Technology
2510 Ridgetop Road Ames, IA 50014-4563
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: SBIR Phase I: Liquid lens for laser nanomachining
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0231744
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project, will develop a liquid lens for nanomachining materials with pulsed laser beams. The project team will design and fabricate a liquid lens capable of producing laser beam spot sizes on the order of nanometers (20-100 nm) through its nonlinear effects, including self-focusing, self-trapping, and harmonic generation obtained through intense laser beam propagation in liquid. The end product will be a fiber optic cable assembly in which the nonlinear optical liquid will be filled in hollow glass waveguides with a core diameter of one millimeter and the end faces will be fastened with two standard SMA 905 connectors. Upon interfacing with a high energy, Q-switched Nd: YAG laser, this unique liquid lens will facilitate obtaining various nanometer spot sizes and wavelengths by simply changing the liquid medium. The project team will demonstrate the feasibility of a liquid lens for nanomachining of medical devices such as catheters in a vibration-isolation work environment. Commercially, the proposed liquid lens and nanomachining are intended to fill the miniaturization needs of high-technology industries. Possible commercial applications include medical devices (pacemakers, implants,stents,catheters), electronic and photonic devices, magnetic disks, instrumentation, telecommunication devices, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The liquid lens will offer new capabilities for modern laser systems, flexible processing with single wavelength laser, and ultra-precision machining.

Principal Investigator:

Diwakar Ramanathan

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Photon Energy Technology
2501 North Loop Drive Ames, IA 50010

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