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Optical Cryocooling for Precision Metrology

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31PQ-18-C-0057
Agency Tracking Number: F2-9846
Amount: $1,000,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF10-BT02
Solicitation Number: 2010.0
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-04-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-09-20
Small Business Information
1313 Madrid
Santa Fe, NM 87505
United States
DUNS: 828743125
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Richard Epstein
 (505) 310-1224
Business Contact
 Dr. Richard Epstein
Phone: () -
Research Institution
 University of New Mexico
MSC01 1247 1 Office of Sponsored Projects
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

 (505) 277-6128
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Optical cryocoolers, which are compact and produce no vibrations, are ideal for many electronics and sensor applications. In particular, some advanced metrology systems require cooling to around 124 K, the temperature at which the coefficient of thermal expansion for crystalline silicon goes through a null point. Currently, the dominant solid-state cooling technology is thermoelectric cooling, which uses the electrical Peltier effect. Despite decades of effort, the lowest achievable temperature for multi-stage thermoelectric coolers (TECs) is around 170 K. ThermoDynamic Films, LLC, together with it collaborators at the University of New Mexico (UNM) have been pursuing an alternative, approach to solid-state cooling technology, optical refrigeration. To date, the TDF/UNM collaboration has cooled an optical-refrigerator from room temperature to 91 K with about 1% efficiency. This is the world record cooling for optical refrigeration (or any solid-state cooling technology). Under the STTR Phase II contract the TDF/UNM team will build an optical cryocooler to be used to cool a crystalline silicon laser reference cavity. The TDF/UNM team will build the cryocooler and adapt it to cool silicon mono-crystalline optical reference cavities.

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

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