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Infrared Transparent Adhesive



OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate an optical adhesive that is transparent in the Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) (3-5 µm) and Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) (8-12 µm) wavebands.

DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Army develops advance optical sensor components and systems to enhance the situational awareness, survivability, and lethality of the Soldier. To complement these advancements in sensor technology, the Army is seeking novel optical adhesives to facilitate the fabrication of the next generation of sensors.Currently, there is no commercially available adhesive suitably transparent (>0.95) in the MWIR and LWIR. This limits the fabrication methods of imaging systems that operate in these bands. An IR transparent adhesive will allow for the fabrication of unique optical elements, new methods of bonding focal plane arrays to read-out circuits, and development of novel structures such as metalens and structured coatings. An adhesive that meets the metrics of MWIR and LWIR transparency of >0.95 through a film of 0.5 mm, has a reactive index between 2 and 3, maintains a bond through 100 temperatures cycles of -55° to 125° F, and has maximum tensile stress of greater than 20 N/mm2, would find many applications in the Army modernization process. Including the fabrication of imaging systems for the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV), Future of Vertical Lift (FVL), and Soldier Lethality.

PHASE I: The proposer shall complete a conceptual design of and modeling of an optical adhesive that is transparent in the MWIR and LWIR. This shall include a molecular level design and then modeling of IR transmission.

PHASE II: Using the results of Phase I, synthesize and test an adhesive to meet the performance metrics. For a ZnS to ZnS and a ZnS to Al bond the adhesive should have a maximum tensile stress of greater than 20 N/mm2, refractive index of 2.2, persist over 100 temperature cycles of -55° to 125° F, and have an average transparency of 0.95 across the MWIR and LWIR for a 0.5 mm film. At the end of phase two the adhesive will delivered to the U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR Center for further testing.

PHASE III: Transition applicable materials to a production environment with the support of an industry partner as, needed.The finalized adhesive that meets the appropriate performance metrics can be transitioned to applications such as Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS), Individual Vision Augmentation System (IVAS), and dual band sensor systems in support of the Army modernization priorities such as an the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, and Soldier Lethality. Commercially, this technology will be widely applied in devices that use infrared imaging such as thermal mapping, scientific research, and medical imaging.

KEYWORDS: Adhesive, Broadband IR, Imaging, Sensors, Manufacturing


1. “Microscopic FT-IR Studies of Epoxy Adhesive Films on Chemically Treated Aluminum” Fondeur, F.; Koenig, J. L. Applied Spectroscopy, 1993. 47, 1-6.; 2. “Reflection-absorption FT-IR studies of the specific interaction of amines and an epoxy adhesive with GPS treated aluminum surfaces” Johnsen, B. B.; Olafsen, K.; Stori, A. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, 2003, 23. 155-163.; 3. “Raman and IR studies on adsorption behavior of adhesive monomers in a metal primer for Au, Ag, Cu, and Cr surfaces” Suzuki, M.; Yamamoto, M.; Fujishima, A.; Hisamitsu, H.; Kojima, K; Kadoma, Y. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research 202. 62, 37-45.

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