SBIR Phase I: Ultra-High Powered Lasers: Lanthanide Oxide Single Crystals as a New Light Source

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0712213
Agency Tracking Number: 0712213
Amount: $99,955.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
377 Rubin Center Crive, Suite 207, FORT MILL, SC, 29708
DUNS: 126676670
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Henry Giesber
 (803) 547-0881
Business Contact
 Henry Giesber
Title: PhD
Phone: (803) 547-0881
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will prove out the concept that appropriately doped single crystals of lanthanide oxides (i.e. Yb:Sc2O3) can be grown via a commercially viable hydrothermal process. These crystals will enable the development of new high powered diode pumped solid state lasers with cw powers in kilowatts and pulse operations to 200 femtoseconds. The use of doped lanthanide oxides as gain media shows exceptional promise because of their favorable ligand-field parameters, excellent thermal conductivity and high thermal stability. Most importantly, their thermal conductivity is very high so they can shed waste heat easily. However, their use has been limited by the inability to manufacture the single crystals due to their extremely refractory nature. Their melting points exceed 2400C, making crystal growth by conventional methods difficult. A commercially viable route to appropriately doped Ln2O3 will enable new high powered lasers for machining, cutting, welding and eye-safe applications like LIDAR, telemetry and range finding. The research team will 1) develop a scaleable and commercially viable hydrothermal growth process for the production of doped single crystals of Ln:Sc2O3 (where Ln is Yb, Er Nd). These crystals will be of a size and quality suitable for use in prototype devices. In addition, the field of crystal growth is not generally covered in traditional University curricula in the United States. As a result, the field is ""dying"" in the US and most of the commercial crystal growth has moved offshore. The maintenance of a cadre of trained crystal growers is absolutely essential for the United States to maintain its competitive advantage in advanced materials and technology. The company is also part of a newly created consortium of universities/companies growing rapidly in the area, the Carolina Micro-optics Triangle (CMOT). Joining in these economic development activities will help improve quality of life in the South Carolina through growth of the knowledge economy.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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