High Speed Wideband Infrared nano-Spectroscopy

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90101
Agency Tracking Number: 97086
Amount: $999,747.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 11 b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000676
Small Business Information
121 Gray Avenue, Suite 100, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101-1809
DUNS: 556921620
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Craig Prater
 (805) 730-3310
Business Contact
 Roshan Shetty
Title: Dr.
Phone: (805) 455-5482
Email: roshan@anasysinstruments.com
Research Institution
The dramatic increase in development and usage of nanostructured materials has left a critical characterization gap in the ability to chemically identify and map materials with nanoscale spatial resolution. Anasys Instruments proposes to develop a high speed Wideband Infrared NanoSpectroscopy (WINS) platform that will dramatically extend the available capabilities for chemical characterization at the nanoscale. Closing this characterization gap through successful completion of this project will accelerate the development of novel nanoscale materials as well as providing critical analytical capabilities to basic materials science. During Phase I, the WINS project developed and demonstrated a broad range of technologies to overcome previous technology barriers and enable wideband, high resolution infrared spectroscopy at the nanoscale, specifically: (1) a new widely tunable mid-infrared laser source meeting key market performance needs; (2) dynamic beam control capabilities including arbitrary polarization control (breakthrough new capability for studying oriented polymers) along with dynamic beam angle and power control; (3) a new atomic force microscope (AFM) based infrared nanospectroscopy platform, including high resolution scattering scanning near field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) measurements. This Phase II project will build on the success of Phase I activities to develop and commercialize wideband infrared nano-spectroscopy. This new WINS platform will employ AFM-based techniques that use the probe of an AFM to detect absorption or scattering of infrared radiation by a sample just under the AFM probe tip. Specifically in Phase II the proposers will develop a commercial WINS platform prototype incorporating: (1) Interchangeable, broadly and rapidly tunable infrared (IR) sources; (2) A dynamic beam control module to provide IR excitation with optimal power, position and desired polarization to the sample; (3) Capabilities for mapping molecular orientation in oriented polymers; (4) A new AFM nanospectroscopy platform suitable for IR spectroscopy, s-SNOM and other spectroscopic applications. This project is anticipated to have far reaching impacts. Infrared spectroscopy is arguably the most widely used technique for chemical characterization, but spatial resolution limits have prevented it from being widely applied at the nanoscale. Scattering SNOM and Raman are both techniques with significant potential, but various barriers have prevented broad adoption. By overcoming these barriers, this project will give researchers a robust capability to leverage the power of infrared spectroscopy over broad wavelength ranges and at resolution scales well below current limits. The WINS platform will enable a wide range of high resolution characterization in materials science and life sciences including correlation of morphological, chemical, mechanical and optical properties. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Based on market experience, we anticipate significant downstream benefits in areas including the development of advanced polymer materials, automotive materials, photovoltaics, materials for biofuels, and many other areas.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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