SBIR Phase I: Thin-Film Spectrally-Tunable Optical Filter with Wide Bandwidth for Visible and Near Infrared Spectrum
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Raydex Technology, Inc.
655 CONCORD AVE UNIT 704, Lexington, MA, 02420-1431
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to develop a technology to fabricate thin-film spectrally-tunable optical filters with wide bandwidth for operation in the visible and near infrared spectrum. Spectrally-tunable optical filters with electronic controllability are desired in optical imaging systems, such as fluorescence microscopy systems, dual-band cameras, and adaptive optical systems. Such filters can significantly reduce the complexity of the optics in imaging systems and help to enable a lightweight, a small-volume automated imaging system with significantly improved capabilities. The proposed effort will use low-refractive-index nano-rod thin film materials for tunable optical filter fabrication. The nano scale feature size of the nano-rod has negligible scattering effect and enables a nano-rod layer which can be used as a viable optical thin film material. The intellectual merit mainly lies in solving the technical challenges for nano-structured material fabrication, and addressing the optical filter design by combining the optical property and the nano-structure of the low-refractive-index material. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is mainly lying on the fact that the availability of wide-band spectrally-tunable optical filters at visible and near infrared spectrum will be extremely beneficial to the next generation of optical imaging technology by enabling the multiple-band imaging function with electronic controllability. Additionally, such filters can be used in any optical system to improve the system's capability with spectral band tunability and controllability, including, but not limited to, multi-band imaging system, spectrally-tunable optical display systems, machine vision system, multi-band detection system, and spectrally-tunable light sources. The proposed electronically tunable optical filter is the core device to enable such advanced applications. Therefore a successful completion of the program could result in a worldwide paradigmatic shift in the optical system development.
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