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Electronically Dimmable Eye Protection Devices (EDEPD)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-19-P-6027
Agency Tracking Number: F18B-003-0082
Amount: $149,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF18B-T003
Solicitation Number: 18.B
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-05
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-02-05
Small Business Information
410 Jan Davis Drive
Huntsville, AL 35806
United States
DUNS: 625694500
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 William Erwin
 Research Scientist
 (256) 922-0802
Business Contact
 Lindsey McMicken
Phone: (256) 922-0802
Research Institution
 Vanderbilt University
 Julie James Julie James
2201 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

 (615) 343-6395
 Nonprofit College or University

Electronically dimmable materials with sufficiently strong visible transmission shift, color neutrality, durability and switching speeds have eluded development since the search began nearly half a century ago. We demonstrate the potential for dynamic optical dimming using plasmonic nanostructures with electrodynamic simulations of promising plasmonic metamaterial architectures. In order to achieve dynamic transmission, we take advantage of the plasmon retardation effect in which the nanostructure resonance frequency is tuned through subtle changes in device configuration. We investigate the use of aluminum and silver nanostructures, taking advantage of their broad tunability through the ultraviolet (off-state) into the visible (on-state) spectral range. We investigate two distinct schemes to realize a tunable transmission layer, i) electrochemical tuning of the material index vicinal to plasmonic nanostructures and ii) reversible self-assembly of small nanostructures into larger macrostructures; both of these techniques introduce a spectral redshift of the active material. The schemes described are investigated through electrodynamics simulations, and the feasibility for prototype fabrication and ultimate scale up and commercialization is discussed. The proposed technology will have direct commercial value in military applications, particularly in protective glasses and visors for Air Force pilots.

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

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