Ultrafast Hybrid Active Materials and Devices for Compact RF Photonics

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09TT25
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
EM Photonics, Incorporated
51 East Main Street, Suite 203, Newark, DE, 19711
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Ahmed Sharkawy
Director, Photonic Applications
(302) 456-9003
Business Contact:
Eric Kelmelis
(302) 456-9003
Research Institution:
University Of Delaware
Dennis Prather
140 Evans Hall
Newark, DE, 19711
(302) 831-8170
Nonprofit college or university
Optical components for RF-photonic applications such as communication satellites, avionics, optical networks, sensors and phase array radar will require high speed, high capacity and low power. Due to the nature of crystalline electro-optic materials (LiNbO3, GaAs, InP, etc.) today's commercial electro-optical devices do not perform well above 40 GHz. This limitation can be circumvented by utilizing organic materials unique properties (Nonlinearity, electro-activity, conductivity and electro-opticity). Since amorphous polymers do not have lattice mismatch problems, incorporation of organic (polymeric) materials with conventional materials like Si, SiGe, GaAs, InP and GaN should open up multiple possibilities of achieving high-frequency, high-bandwidth applications such as high-capacity optical networks, THz and mmW imaging, wireless communication, phase array radar and antennae, lightweight broadband avionics etc. Several RF applications will also benefit from the development of such technology, including high-speed switching and gating of RF signals, the development of optically reconfigurable multifunctional antennas, and high speed EO-modulators. BENEFIT: it is highly desirable to consolidate/combine as many functions as possible into single system footprints, which leads to the realization of mutli-functional systems. However, performing such functions through a traditional wide band RF system remains a formidable challenge. A case in point is the emergence of multi-functional RF apertures, wherein communications, RADAR, electronic warfare, and imaging are all performed through a common RF radiating aperture. Another application of optical up-conversion to synthetic aperture imaging lies in the direct processing of correlator data using optical techniques. EM Photonics and the University of Delaware, have demonstrated millimeter-wave synthetic aperture imaging implemented via a carrier-suppressed optical approach .Using the smaller optical wavelengths, Fourier transform operations may be carried out using a simple small optical le ns and a photodetector array

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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