Quantum-Confined Nanocrystal Materials for Anti-Stokes Optical Coolers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-11-C-0084
Agency Tracking Number: F10B-T02-0275
Amount: $99,990.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF10-BT02
Solicitation Number: 2010.B
Small Business Information
Voxtel Inc.
12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 230, Beaverton, OR, -
DUNS: 124348652
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ngoc Nguyen
 Senior Scientist
 (971) 223-5646
Business Contact
 George Williams
Title: President
Phone: (971) 223-5646
Email: georgew@voxtel-inc.com
Research Institution
 University of Oregon
 David Tyler
 1253 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR, 97403-1253
 (541) 346-4649
 Nonprofit college or university
ABSTRACT: Nanocrystals (NCs) offer many potential benefits for optical refrigeration; these quantum-confined materials have discrete energy levels, large optical transition dipole moments, and high photoluminescence quantum efficiency. Using well-characterized upconverting ion-doped metal oxide NCs and core-shell semiconductor nanocrystals as a baseline, a design of experiments (DOE) will be conducted to optimize the coupling and population of the energy carriers (photons, electrons, and phonons), including the photon-exciton and exciton-phonon couplings, the ion-dopant concentration, the phonon density of states, the photon population, the host material and size, the core-shell architectures, the NCs"surface properties, and the ion doping concentration. This will make efficient optical cooling possible and eliminate non-radiative Auger-recombination paths. The coupling and populations will be studied using time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) and photoluminescence excitation (PLE), femtosecond pulse probe spectroscopy, and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and X ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements to characterize the NC materials so that the nanostructured materials can be fabricated and demonstrated in working optical cryocoolers capable of cooling power>200 mW. In Phase II, the macroscopic properties of the device will be optimized in a series of fiber optics and optical cavities, so that improvements in efficiency and mass can be demonstrated for space applications. BENEFIT: While the full capabilities, performance, and cost for this technology are not yet fully understood, a low-cost and high-performance cooling system capable of being conformably coated onto a substrate has the potential to unleash a new era in electronics, communications, and sensors. Additionally, the same material sets can be used for thermoelectric generation. We foresee the following cooling applications as high-value target markets: military infrared sensors, silicon chip industry, and optoelectronics.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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