New Ceramic Laser Hosts for High Power Lasers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-5419
Agency Tracking Number: F083-076-2625
Amount: $99,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-076
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
5315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Atlanta, GA, 30341
DUNS: 806337762
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Zhihao Bao
 VP/Material Scientist
 (678) 287-2400
Business Contact
 Andrew Hunt
Title: Contracts Administrative
Phone: (678) 287-2400
Research Institution
Given its specific thermal-mechanic feature, the sesquioxide Lu2O3 is a particularly promising laser host material.  nGimat Co. proposes to utilize a novel vacuum sintering and nanocrystallite technology without pressing process (VSN) to fabricate high performance Yb:Lu2O3 thin ceramic disks for high power lasers. The entire process includes a chemical vapor combustion condensation (CCVC) process for the production of Yb:Lu2O3 nanopowder, special processing for the formation of green bodies, and vacuum sintering process for densification of  the green bodies into the highly transparent ceramic disks.  Compared to traditional fabrication process, VSN process involves less contamination, needs less time to form nanopowders into the thin ceramic disk and develops more homogeneous microstructure in the disks.  Thus, high performance transparent thin ceramic disk can be produced efficiently.  Once the desired performance has been achieved (Phase I), the inherent sustainability (scalability, low-cost) of the VSN process will be demonstrated through the production of low cost, high performance larger ceramic disk for military laser systems. BENEFIT: In addition to the significant military market opportunities, the demand for high power lasers continues to increase for civilian applications.  Specifically, high power laser are utilized for micromachining in the semiconductor industry; for drilling, welding tools in steel, heavy machinery and automobile industries; as a light source in nuclear fusion.  These applications and markets are growing rapidly.  It is estimated that solid-state laser market will increase to ~$1,500 million in 2008.  The demand of the ceramic laser hosts, a key component of the solid laser systems, also is increasing.  A successful DoD project will enable the U.S. to maintain leadership in the global competition on laser technology and generate a significant market opportunity for nGimat.

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

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