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Tunable, Reconfigurable Metamaterials Using Liquid Crystal Medium

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0325
Agency Tracking Number: 206260
Amount: $124,143.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T8
Solicitation Number: STTR_20_P1
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-30
Small Business Information
3040 Presidential Drive, Suite 100
Fairborn, OH 45324-6272
United States
DUNS: 838936599
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Rudra Gnawali
 (937) 431-5100
 rudra.gnawali@appliedo.com
Business Contact
 Michael Pickrell
Title: MichaelPickrell
Phone: (937) 431-5100
Email: Michael.Pickrell@appliedo.com
Research Institution
 University of Dayton
 
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 00000-0000
United States

 Nonprofit College or University
Abstract

We propose to take advantage of the tunable, isotropic properties of Liquid Crystals (LCs) to design two different models for a tunable, LC-based metamaterial (LCM) device. This device will be designed with optimal materials and structures to operate within the visible-to-near-IR spectrum with (a) the capability to tune to multiple wavelengths, (b) the ability to respond to and function with different polarizations of light, and (c) the capability to serve multiple EM attributes such as negative refraction and hyperbolic dispersion. Two different LCM models will be developed in Phase I: (1) LC sandwiched by Uniaxial Anisotropic Metamaterial (UAM), and (2) placing Metal-Dielectric (MD) nanorods in an LC medium. The first design will achieve tunability through variations in an applied electric field to adjust the orientation of the LC medium. The second design will achieve tunability by changing the temperature of the device through changes in an applied voltage across external layers. These two models will be designed using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Finite Element Method (FEM) techniques in order to assign specific optical properties. Modeling with specific optical properties will allow us to conduct Electromagnetic (EM) simulations to find characteristics such as absorption, transmission, and reflection properties of the LCM device. These designs will be optimized to operate with low Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) in order to be easily implemented into systems operating in low-resource environments. This SWaP capability will allow our device to be useful to NASA as an absorber to develop optical filters and spectrometers. At the end of Phase I, we will fabricate an initial prototype and full fabrication and characterization will be done in Phase II.

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

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