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SBIR Phase I:Beyond thin-film optics: Resonant grating-based optical component technology
Phone: (214) 437-8086
Phone: (214) 437-8086
The broader/commercial impact of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to simplify and significantly reduce the cost of optical component fabrication. Optical components, with well-known examples being mirrors, polarizers, and lenses, are essential building blocks in a host of civilian and military systems including imaging, telecommunications, and laser systems. Current optical component technology is a multi-billion-dollar industry and is based on multiple layers of films deposited in vacuum chambers. The proposed innovation realizes a new optical component class with the functionality of multi-film assemblies generated in a single layer with attendant savings in time and cost. The project focuses on the long-wave infrared spectral domain where traditional thin-film technology is impractical due to the extreme film thicknesses needed. The long-wave domain covers a region of atmospheric transparency essential for terrestrial imaging, medical and industrial laser technologies, and night-vision systems. _x000D_
This innovation focuses on optical component fabrication that is based on gratings that are index-matched to a sublayer thereby avoiding localized, particle-type resonances. This attribute imbues the components with tolerance to parametric deviations essential for practical manufacturing. The new physics is based on lateral leaky Bloch modes and attendant lattice resonance. It is different from the interference-based physics of classic thin-film optics. Therefore, a new dimension in functionality with high levels of spectral diversity and control is brought into the optical component arena supporting many societally valuable applications. In Phase I, relevant fabrication processes will be developed to show the potential for scale-up to mass production. The effort delivers three main high performance component types (reflectors, filters, and polarizers) that meet stringent specifications in terms of efficiency and bandwidth._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *