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Polaritonic ENZ absorber for synthetic IR signature control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911SR-20-C-0004
Agency Tracking Number: A191-057-1389
Amount: $107,832.96
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A19-057
Solicitation Number: 19.1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-05-31
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-01-05
Small Business Information
310 S Harrington St
Raleigh, NC 27603
United States
DUNS: 080132824
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Shelton
 Senior Scientist/Co-founder
 (919) 816-2191
Business Contact
 Christopher Shelton
Phone: (503) 740-7565
Research Institution

Identification of hazardous chemical, biological or explosive agents is safest when the observer is at standoff range. In the limiting case, airborne or space-based platforms may be used to detect the unique IR spectral fingerprint of a specific analyte; entirely removing the observer from the hazard vicinity. To cope with dynamic environmental conditions, however, these stand-off systems must be calibrated against known absorptions. Our team has developed a method of manufacturing thin-film IR absorbing materials using an epsilon-near-zero optical mode (ENZ). The absorption of the layer can be tuned within the 3-5 and 8-12 µm atmospheric transmission windows and layers can be ‘stacked’ to approximate the IR signatures of known analytes. Most importantly, the method of manufacture, PVD or sputtering, is highly scalable and can accommodate the large area substrates necessary for production of airborne and space-based stand-off detection calibration targets. In the proposed Phase I effort, Third Floor Materials will demonstrate the versatility of ENZ layers for synthetic IR signature control and present a credible manufacturing path to scale the absorber size to relevant dimensions for the US Army.

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

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