SBIR Phase I: Ultraviolet laser for ultra-high-resolution photoemission spectroscopy

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0711924
Agency Tracking Number: 0711924
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
229 Technology Circle, Ste 1675, Scotts Valley, CA, 95066
DUNS: 009424420
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Merriam
 (831) 421-0466
Business Contact
 Andrew Merriam
Title: PhD
Phone: (831) 421-0466
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses an immediate need for a short-wavelength, narrow-bandwidth, high-brightness light source for ultra-high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES). Low-photon-energy laser sources (~6 eV) have recently been applied to ARPES-based studies of superconducting material properties. Although these lasers have demonstrated the advantages of narrow bandwidths, much higher photon energies than those previously obtained will be required for wide acceptance within the industry. Howeve, solid-state nonlinear media cannot be used to generate light with sufficiently high photon energy due to strong absorption. The specific innovation of the proposed research is a high-efficiency gas-phase nonlinear frequency converter that may be harnessed to generate high average powers at photon energies near 11 eV. The high overall efficiency of this coherent source is due to a fortuitous coincidence between an atomic level and a high-power diode pumped infra-red laser. The nonlinear converter maintains the narrow-bandwidth of the drive laser to achieve sub-meV energy resolution at high photon energies. In the Phase I effort, the conversion efficiency of a phase-matched gas-phase nonlinear mixer will be measured in order to verify the technical and commercial feasibility of the light source. The commercial application of this project is primarily to advance the study of modern superconducting materials. As is well-known, room-temperature superconductors with high current-carrying capability will transform every aspect of the energy sector. However, much theoretical and experimental work remains before this elusive goal may be realized. Photoemission spectroscopy is a vital tool for understanding the mechanisms of high temperature superconductivity, but at present, many competing theoretical models of superconductivity cannot be resolved at the current ~5-meV energy resolution limit set by traditional synchrotron light sources. In conjunction with improvements in electron analyzer hardware, the proposed light source will dramatically increase the energy resolution of photoemission spectroscopy to the sub-meV level. The capabilities of the proposed light source will complement those of the workhorse synchrotron, and enable the next generation of superconducting research.

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

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