SBIR Phase I: High Performance Transparent AlON via Novel Powder Synthesis
Small Business Information
7960 South Kolb Road, Tucson, AZ, 85706
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is to develop a transparent AlON with superior mechanical and optical properties using a novel powder synthesis method. This innovative powder synthesis method can not only reduce the particle size but also enhance the uniformity of the reactants. Increasing the sinterability and reducing the diffusion path can reduce the sintering time and sintering temperature reduced significantly. The advantage of these sintering conditions is a lower processing cost and a microstructure with much smaller grain size compared with the conventional processed AlON. Mechanical and thermal shock capabilities of transparent polycrystalline ceramics are limited by their mechanical strength, which in turn is enhanced when the grain size is decreased. The optical properties can also be improved due to less milling process, which results much less impurities pick-up. This innovative synthesis method can convert the surface of the powder into oxide, which makes it possible to process the powder in aqueous solution. The processing cost can be reduced significantly by using the aqueous solution. The transparent AlON developed in this program can be used to replace translucent Al2O3 for the sodium and halogen lamp applications. It can also be used for IR missile domes, transparent armors, supermarket scanners, glass for Xerox copy machine and scanners, and optical lenses. This new material could revolutionize the optical industry by replacing glass and sapphire.
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