Archive for the ‘Materials’ category

Rochester Precision Optics Wins Phase 2 STTR Grant for Chalcogenide Glass Mid-IR

September 9, 2016

Rochester Precision Optics Wins Phase 2 STTR Grant for Chalcogenide Glass Mid-IR

Rochester Precision Optics, LLC (RPO) has been awarded a grant from the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) to pursue chalcogenide glass IR optic development for quantum cascade lasers.

RPO, after successful completion of Phase 1 STTR, seeks to develop a fast axis collimating lens for quantum cascade lasers (QCL), which are tunable to emit in the full infrared range. Because primary applications are wide, the lenses must withstand the stress of both continuous wave and pulsed laser emission. Lenses for this application are not known to currently exist, making RPO first in the industry to achieve a working prototype.

“Our work in developing chalcogenide IR lenses for QCL is just one example of RPO’s commitment to innovation,” said RPO President Dane Hileman.RPO

To date, RPO has successfully designed the lens, as well as test materials and coatings for damage threshold. By the end of Phase 1, a working prototype was produced and provided to the Air Force for testing.

“We had great results with the prototype,” said Dr. George Lindberg, RPO’s Glass Materials Manager and principal investigator on the project. With no damage recorded during testing, Dr. Lindberg is looking forward to progressing the design and manufacturability process in Phase 2.

Although QCL systems are in their infancy, price and performance improvements have opened up commercialization opportunities for QCL. Potential applications range from military systems to spectroscopy, including medical, scientific, research, security and pollution monitoring. RPO projects that continued market growth for quantum cascade lasers will result in similar market growth for chalcogenide lenses.

About Rochester Precision Optics

Rochester Precision Optics (www.rpoptics.com) is a proven partner to market leaders in medical device, security, defense, life sciences and consumer electronics manufacturing. RPO leads in high volume production of IR and precision glass molding, providing complete design and manufacturing services, from prototype to high volume fabrication and assembly.

About STTR

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR; https://www.sbir.gov/about/about-sttr#sttr-program) is a program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. The program is focused on the expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The STTR program requires small businesses to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR’s most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

Extraordinary Book Celebrates Light at Photonics West

February 10, 2015

SPIE is sharing a very special book that celebrates light this year at Photonics West 2015.

2015 was designated the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies by the United Nations and UNESCO in late 2013. (IYOL)

The SPIE published book, Celebrating Light, 50 Ways Light-based Technologies Enrich Our World, is a must-have. As John Dudley, steering committee chair for the International Year of Light says in his forward, “The volume celebrates a selection of 50 applications of light that have made the world a better place. A central message of the wonderful book is that light science and photonics technologies provide a remarkable range of solutions to the challenges that the world faces today.”

If you are lucky enough to see one of these books, grab it. You can still get one at SPIE’s IYOL Booth in the concourse.

Congratulations to Kathy Sheehan and SPIE staff who put this book together. It is truly a remarkable project.

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Chemical-sensing displays and other surprising uses of Corning glass

January 28, 2015

Someday your smartphone might be able to help you in a new way when you’re traveling: by telling you whether the water is safe to drink.

Although a water app isn’t close yet, researchers at Corning and elsewhere recently discovered that they could use Gorilla Glass, the toughened glass made by Corning that’s commonly used on smartphone screens, to make extremely sensitive chemical and biological sensors. It could detect, say, traces of sarin gas in the air or specific pathogens in water.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/533076/chemical-sensing-displays-and-other-surprising-uses-of-glass/

Laser-generated surface structures create extremely water-repellent metals

January 20, 2015

Super-hydrophobic properties could lead to applications in solar panels, sanitation and as rust-free metals

Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings.

Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust prevention, anti-icing, or even in sanitation uses. However, as Rochester’s Chunlei Guo explains, most current hydrophobic materials rely on chemical coatings.

In a paper published today in the Journal of Applied Physics, Guo and his colleague at the University’s Institute of Optics, Anatoliy Vorobyev, describe a powerful and precise laser-patterning technique that creates an intricate pattern of micro- and nanoscale structures to give the metals their new properties. This work builds on earlier research by the team in which they used a similar laser-patterning technique that turned metals black. Guo states that using this technique they can create multifunctional surfaces that are not only super-hydrophobic but also highly-absorbent optically…

http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/superhydrophobic-metals-85592/

Consortiums Compete for Establishment of Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation

November 21, 2014

Funding Opportunity Announced

Through a Funding Opportunity Announcement  (FOA) made on Nov. 6, the U.S. Department of Defense is calling for concept papers for the establishment of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI).

The IP-IMI will be the largest federal investment to date under the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) at $110M. The IP-NMI does not include optics, optical systems or optical manufacturing. It does not include lasers at the manufacturing scale, optical materials or new systems for manufacturing critical DoD optical components. It is narrowly focused upon “domestic integrated photonics chip fabrication foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development.”

The FOA was made through the Air Force Research Laboratory, following President Barack Obama’s announcement of his administration’s intent to form the IP-IMI, the sixth such institute under the NNMI. The FOA reaffirms that commitment, with DoD investing $110 million, intended to be somehow matched or exceeded in investment  from industry, academia and/or state and local government through the winning proposal.

Read the White House fact sheet here.

A proposer’s day has been scheduled for Nov. 19  in Arlington, Va.

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, VA

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, Va.

New York Proposals

A National Institute for Manufacturing and Innovation in Photonics has been one of the main goals of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).  Numerous lobbying efforts and a national fly-in have supported the NPI.   Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY 25) has been an enthusiastic advocate for a photonics institute led and located in Rochester, N.Y.

In Rochester, an NMI effort led by the University of Rochester has been under way for two years. The university has been working with key stakeholders across the U.S. to form a consortium to partner on an application. It is rumored that The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany (CNSE) is also working on an application.  Sources at the University of Rochester say that they have been engaged in brokered discussions with CNSE.

Other New York research interests might include names like Cornell University, RIT, Columbia University, Clarkson, University at Buffalo and others.  Industrial partners may include such names as Corning, GE, IBM, Global Foundries and Sematech.

Applications are due on Dec. 19.

Read the DoD Announcement here.

Recent New York Efforts

The last NMI award announcement was for an institute for power electronics.

CNSE led a consortium that applied for the Power Electronics NMI in late 2013. That Institute was awarded to a consortium based in North Carolina.  Undeterred, Gov. Andrew Cuomo later announced a New York State Power Electronics Institute under the CNSE umbrella, promising to create 500 jobs. The announcement was made in the same building where CNSE announced its Department of Energy Photovoltaics Consortium on July 17, 2013,  promising to create 100 jobs.

The competition for leadership in Optics, Photonics and Imaging seems to be paying off for New York State.

The Glass Age!

November 19, 2014

Ubiquitous!

 

 

We are living in it!

 

http://theglassage.com/

 

Corning Asks For Voluntary Layoffs in Canton Plant

September 11, 2014

Union workers at Corning Inc.’s Canton plant have been asked to take unpaid voluntary layoffs because of a slowdown in customer demand for some products produced at the factory.

A notice posted at the plant Tuesday came less than three weeks after company officials broke ground on a $21 million expansion project that’s supposed to create 40 new permanent jobs.canton

“We’re hoping this is just a bump in the road,” said James H. Ridgeway, north country representative for the United Steelworkers, the union that represents about 130 hourly workers at the Canton plant. “We find it kind of ironic that this comes after they announce a big expansion.”

Company spokesman Joseph R. Dunning said the expansion will allow the company to increase the supply of products where customer demand is on the upswing. Those include specialized glass products for the Department of Defense and the aerospace industry.