SBIR Phase II: Ultrafast Self-Reactive Laser Eye Protection Devices

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Phase II
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Kent Optronics, Inc.
40 Corporate Park Drive, Hopewell Junction, NY, 12533-0000
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Ben Tang
(330) 677-9745
Business Contact:
Ben Tang
(330) 677-9745
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop ultra-fast laser eye protection (LEP) devices from nano-composite materials. Commercial LEP eyewear can only protect against a limited number of known laser wavelengths, with users having to change eyewear for different lasers. The new LEP eyewear will be a universal solution to protect human eyes against both known and unknown lasers in the visible and infrared (IR) spectral range, promising>60% visual luminous transmittance,>4 optical density, femtosecond response time, and full compliance with industrial and military standards. The LEP eyewear is expected to have adequate optical limiting threshold so that it does not require an extra focusing lens array for assistance. The material to be developed is semi-solid and can be integrated with ballistic-proof polycarbonate (PC) substrates, and requires no electrical power. This project will also be applicable to products for laser protection of optical sensors. The Phase II research activities involve material and manufacturing process optimizations as well as environment durability tests. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is significant. It will meet the critical unmet customer demand for a universal laser eye protection device, which is key in many military and industrial fields. The LEP products will create cost savings for customers (by providing a universal solution), reduce eye injury risk, and allow ballistic and shatter-proof capability. These devices have the potential to address the entire laser eye protection market, and cumulative LEP eyewear sales for the first five years are projected to exceed $10 million. This program will also advance the state-of-the-art in science and engineering, in developing novel nanostructures from phase-transitioning materials, as well as a new device structure with superior optical characteristics. Finally, this project will have societal benefit by helping to reduce the medical, insurance and associated costs of laser eye injuries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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