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Miniature Spherical Retroreflectors Fabricated by Fluidized Bed CVD

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Structured Materials Industries
201 Circle Drive North Unit # 102 Piscataway, NJ 08854-3723
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Miniature Spherical Retroreflectors Fabricated by Fluidized Bed CVD
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84765
Award Amount: $100,000.00


As part of the DOE Proliferation Detection Program, miniature spherical lenses are sought for remote chemical detection using LIDAR. These miniature lenses can serve as retroreflectors for the atmospheric detection of chemical threat agents. Currently, there is no reliable method for producing these spherical lenses, which require a graded index profile of at least 0.2 over their entire radius, at a size in the few mm. This project will develop miniature spherical lenses with controlled refractive index profile using fluidized bed chemical vapor deposition (FBCVD). Phase I will demonstrate proof-of-concept by fabricating millimeter-sized, silica-based glass spheres with a defined and controllable index profile, and characterize their optical properties and quality. Phase II will expand the technology to include other material compositions, including chalcogenide glasses, to extend the transmission wavelength, tune index profiles, refine optical quality, and scale up for economical Phase III production. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The graded index retroreflector spheres would improve national security by enhancing the capability of remote chemical sensing. These retroreflector spheres also could find use in other applications of remote chemical sensing, including the monitoring of automobile exhaust, chemical and power plant effluent, and others.

Principal Investigator:

Catherine Rice

Business Contact:

Gary Tompa
Small Business Information at Submission:

Structured Materials Industries, Inc.
201 Circle Drive North Unit # 102 Piscataway, NJ 08854

EIN/Tax ID: 223175106
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No