SBIR Phase I: Quantum Dot / Fluoropolymer Composites: A New Approach for Enhancing Performance in Light Sources

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Solitcitation Year:
Solicitation Number:
NSF 05-557
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
657 South Mechanic Street, Pendleton, SC, 29670
Hubzone Owned:
Woman Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Principal Investigator
 Earl Wagener
 (864) 653-4339
Business Contact
 Earl Wagener
Title: Dr
Phone: (864) 653-4339
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project introduces a new technical approach to utilizing company's optical polymer technology as a new commercial matrix platform for maximizing the performance capability of quantum dot (QD) devices in amplifiers, waveguides, and optical switches. This project will further investigate the technical feasibility of combining quantum dots with the company's optical polymer to make near infrared optical gain and amplifier devices. These results will have much greater commercialization potential if the concentration of quantum dots incorporated into the polymer matrix is doubled with more uniformly dispersion. The proposed new approach will focus on synthesis of unique fluorinated polymerizable ligands as the quantum dot encapsulants, which will be structurally designed to provide the highest quantum dot surface affinity to enable the maximum quantum dot concentration in the final device with better dispersion. These new composites can then be processed by typical solution, melt, or lithographic techniques to produce the commercial optical devices desired. If successful this new research will enhance scientific and technical knowledge in both academia and industry in technical fields such as quantum dot technology, surface affinity, lower cost higher data rate integrated optic devices, and the discipline of polymer chemistry due to its structural versatility. Quantum dot technology is a very exciting new area of global research to emerge over the past 10 years. However, the use of QD technology in applications other than biological sensing, such as commercial light emitting devices is still in very early stage development. The global commercialization of the superior capabilities of quantum dots in the optical device area has been limited by matrix selection, processing concerns, concentration, and dispersion of the dots. This project addresses these technical and commercialization concerns to allow the superior bandwidth potential of this technology to be more broadly applied into this $2.3 billion dollar global market. In South Carolina, successful commercialization will help create 10 -12 jobs to help replace those lost in the textile industry. These jobs include the PhD level, benefiting local universities, and high paying technician positions for graduates from local technical institutes.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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