Nano-Enabled Low-Cost High-Performance UV Anti-Reflection Coatings

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNM08AA03C
Agency Tracking Number: 066546
Amount: $599,963.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
15 Cabot Road, Woburn, MA, 01801-1050
DUNS: 004841644
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 King Wang
 Principal Investigator
 (781) 935-1200
Business Contact
 Sharon Tan
Title: Business Official
Phone: (781) 935-1200
Research Institution
Agiltron together with Prof. Michael Rubner's group at MIT is developing a new family of nanoporous, low refractive index coatings for next generation NASA UV anti-reflection (AR) application on large plastic optics. The initial application is intended for 2.5 m diameter PMMA Fresnel lenses which NASA anaticipates as part of the EUSO mission cosmic ray telescope. The new thin film technology combines MIT advances in nano-structured, self-assembled, low index multilayer structures with Agiltron's recently developed mist deposition process, a method for applying large area thin films at low temperature with precise layer thickness control. The proposed UV AR coatings consist of inter-connected oxide nanoparticles in the form of a 3D nanoporous network able to produce stable films with refractive indices as low as 1.1 and high transparency in the visible - UV. In Phase I of this program we successfully demonstrated AR coatings on PMMA substrates with UV reflectance less than 1% at 300-400 nm (compared to 5% for bare PMMA substrates). In Phase II, Agiltron intends to further develop the coatings to a higher technical readiness level (TRL) by improving the robustness and abrasion resistance of the films and engineering the deposition techniques to enable multilayer coatings of tuned refractive index (graded index) for broader band AR performance. By the end of Phase II, nanoporous films deposited by the mist process will possess high transparency, good environmental stability, and excellent abrasion resistance and mechanical integrity. The material can be applied conformally on large area glass and plastic substrates (polycarbonate, PMMA) using low annealing temperatures. Mist deposition is fundamentally inexpensive and may have commercial applications to the plastic optics industry for eyeglasses or cellphone camera lenses.

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

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