SBIR Phase I: Commercialization of Innovative Low Refractive Index, High Temperature Perfluorocyclobutyl Polymers

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1215055
Agency Tracking Number: 1215055
Amount: $149,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 112087726
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey DiMaio
 (864) 646-6282
Business Contact
 Jeffrey DiMaio
Phone: (864) 646-6282
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will determine the technical feasibility and the commercial value proposition of a high temperature fiber optic laser coatings for photonic crystal (PC) fiber lasers and large mode area (LMA) double-clad laser. Fiber lasers hold great potential for extreme power, outstanding beam quality, and excellent operational efficiency; however, nonlinear effects dictate that shorter fiber length with higher temperatures be used. Increasing thermal stability of polymeric coatings would allow for shorter, more efficient, and more powerful lasers. Additionally, reducing the refractive index of the coatings could mitigate the non-linear effects in LMA lasers. Tetramer has developed new synthetic chemistries to prepare polymer architectures that meet these technical needs, allowing for sustained operation up to 350 C and reduced refractive index. During this program, Tetramer will synthesize new monomers and polymers and evaluate their properties for use as fiber coatings. At the end of this program, Tetramer anticipates the development of new polymers with a set of performance characteristics that are not available from any single material today. As a result, these materials will not only find applications in the enabling of high powered lasers, but in a host of other commercial products as well. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project strongly correlates with the universal trend within laser applications; fiber optic lasers are rapidly becoming the preferred method for laser fabrication. By enabling fiber lasers to operate at higher temperatures, an immediately increase in output power and service lifetime is accomplished. Doubling power output via improved coatings will have a major competitive advantage across industrial applications such as metalworking (welding, cutting, and engraving/marking), micromachining, and medical devices. Additionally, in the area of defense applications, the increased power from fiber lasers would place researchers much closer to developing directed energy beams. This is of national importance, and a domestic source of these types of coatings would be strategically critical. In addition to the clear benefits which come from improved device performance, Tetramer will use this Phase I/II program to train undergraduate and graduate level students from nearby Clemson University and will work with industrial partners to develop commercially viable materials. In South Carolina, successful commercialization after Phase II will create 10 jobs to help replace those lost in the textile industry. These jobs include the PhD, MS, BS, and technician level positions, as well as outreach programs for high school science students.

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

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