SBIR Phase I: Light-channeling Metamaterials for Polarimetric Sensing

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
NSF 08-548
Small Business Information
Phoebus Optoelectronics LLC
12 Desbrosses Street, New York, NY, 10013
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Thomas James
 (718) 484-7033
Business Contact
 Thomas James
Title: PhD
Phone: (718) 484-7033
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will assess the feasibility of using the diverse, enabling light management capabilities of a subset of metamaterials called Plasmonic/ Photonic Hybrid Crystals to develop higher-performance, lower-cost polarimetric infrared sensors. The company's hybrid crystals, single-layer surface structures, can be fabricated atop any substrate material using standard CMOS fabrication techniques. A prototype polarizer array capable of extinction ratios of at least 500:1; with the potential of ratios as high as 5000:1; will be designed, modeled, fabricated and initially characterized. It is anticipated that the structure will also minimize light scattering, the primary cause of performance impairing crosstalk in current polarimetric sensors. The design will use polarization-dependent optical and electromagnetic modes within periodic subwavelength apertures to achieve the high polarization extinction ratios and to minimize or eliminate light scattering from surface polarizers. Fabrication processes will be developed and a preliminary prototype of a hybrid crystal to be applied to a polarimetric sensor operating in the 4-5m range will be fabricated. The broader impacts/commercial potential of this project will represent a breakthrough enabling tool for managing the flow of light in optoelectronic devices in extremely varied, precise and sophisticated ways, and can be readily applied to a diverse array of photonic components operating in several wavelength ranges and across multiple industries. This technology involves CMOS-based fabrication of simple single-layer structures, it is essentially substrate independent; the hybrid crystals can be fabricated atop almost any material. Potential device applications include, but are not limited to, infrared imaging sensors, cloaking devices, solar cells and all optical memory arrays. The annual market opportunity for these devices alone is approximately $15 billion. The potential societal impact is significant, as the end-use applications include: remote sensing related to critical military and homeland security missions as well as to planetary mapping for global warming research; the development of higher-density, higher-speed computers, and the detection of environmental chemical and biological threats. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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