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Laser-Aided Automated Removal of Anti-Reflective Coatings From Germanium Substrates

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Logistics Agency
Contract: SP4701-19-P-0037
Agency Tracking Number: L183-015-0051
Amount: $99,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DLA183-015
Solicitation Number: 18.3
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-04-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-10-28
Small Business Information
11149 Bradford Road
Littleton, CO 80127
United States
DUNS: 148034408
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Sayangdev Naha
 Vice President & Program Manager
 (303) 874-8275
Business Contact
 Sheryl Suhr
Phone: (303) 808-4803
Research Institution

High-purity germanium (Ge) is manufactured into infrared (IR) lenses for most DoD night sight IR optics, thermal imaging systems, and IR tracking systems in combat vehicles. A recent report by Umicore (ADA’s partner for this proposed project) identifies several current and future needs for Ge, showing growing needs in the middle of severe shortfall. These applications are essential for tracking ground targets and heat-seeking missiles and conducting nighttime counterinsurgency operations. Dependence of metallic Ge supplies (~85% or more of demand) from non-US suppliers, along with increased procurement costs and growing significant shortfalls, as well as increased production delays (for DoD applications) inflicted by the commercial sector’s high Ge demands, has necessitated the development of agile, automated, cost-effective and reliable Ge recycling technologies. Specifically, traditional grinding based coating removal from DoD systems such as IR reflective optics leads to significant delays, costs (associated with highly labor-intensive, difficult-to-scale processes) with significant Ge losses during pre-recycling. To address this need, ADA proposes the development and installation of an automated laser surfacing system (ALSS), which will be designed to ensure fast, cost-effective coating removal (such as thorium fluoride, carbon black) from Ge substrates with virtually no loss of Ge and minimal surface destruction.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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