Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 499.43K | Year: 2010
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project will develop a multi-functional active fiber Bragg grating sensor technology for the monitoring and management of cryogenic fuel such as liquid hydrogen and liquefied natural gas. The proposed technology uses in-fiber light to actively adjust sensor temperature, which will drastically improve responsivity and sensitivity of fiber sensors in the cryogenic environment. By coating fiber Bragg grating sensors with functional films, liquid fuel levels, spatial distribution, hydrogen concentration, and temperature can be simultaneously measured at cryogenic temperatures. Active sensors to be developed in this program are immune to electromagnetic interference and can be multiplexed in a single fiber, which allows a one-fiber and one-fiber-feedthrough solution for the cryogenic fuel management on the ground and in space. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be the development of a prudent sensing technology and system to improve the safety and reliability of the use of both liquid hydrogen and liquefied natural gas fuels. As major alternative fuels to power the U.S. economy for decades to come, they share a high economic value that requires accurate and reliable metering and management. Having a flexible, multi-use system available that can be installed with absolute confidence to monitor and manage these fuels, as well as the health of installed systems, will have a major impact on the acceptance of these volatile fuels as safe alternative energy sources. The ability to multiplex many sensors on a single fiber will enable safer and more economical penetrations in cryogenic walls and the low corrosion potential of the fibers will enable sensors to be placed along piping underground. The same basic active fiber sensor technology has the potential to be extended to fuel flow and other economically useful functions.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.77K | Year: 2013
ABSTRACT: Terahertz (THz) spectroscopies offer unmatched non-contact probing of low-energy excitations underlying electronic transport and magnetism in a wide range of novel materials. To-date, expensive and complex THz Time Domain Spectroscopy (THz-TDS) systems are the most common THz source used in these studies. Lower cost, continuous wave (CW-THz) spectroscopy systems can offer comparable performance as THz-TDS but with superior spectral resolution. Lake Shore will leverage its existing efforts in coherent CW terahertz emission and detection at cryogenic temperatures to deliver a prototype CW-THz materials characterization platform tailored to the research needs of the AFRL materials community. In Phase I, Lake Shore will collaborate with Wright State University and the University of Arizona to develop and validate material parameter extraction methodologies with CW-THz spectroscopy in cryogenic and high magnetic field environments. Comparisons between Hall, THz-TDS, and CW-THz measurements on known semiconductor and novel materials of interest to AFRL researchers will provide a benchmark and methodology for CW-THz materials characterization. A final report at the end of Phase I will discuss these efforts and outline necessary alterations to the hardware platform and measurement methodologies required for materials of interest as well as additions to CW-THz material parameter extraction algorithms. BENEFIT: Lake Shore"s vision is to provide researchers of novel semiconductor and magnetic materials with a turnkey characterization solution that is affordable, highly capable and readily usable. Affordability is achieved in part over previously complex and costly time-domain systems (THz-TDS) by utilizing emerging, lower cost CW-THz generation and detection. Other benefits include faster examination of novel materials due to non-destructive, non-contact THz characterization; more convenient, higher resolution measurements due to CW-THz over THz-TDS; and new research insights into material properties that will help accelerate the development of the next generation of electronic devices. The viability of using CW-THz for these types of characterizations will be demonstrated in this Phase I project.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.82K | Year: 2015
ABSTRACT: Temperature and magnetic field dependent terahertz spectroscopies have proven useful for characterizing novel electronic and magnetic materials. To this end, we are developing a turn-key, continuous-wave (CW) terahertz transmission platform operating from 5 K to 300 K with fields up to 9 T. Fiber-coupled photoconductive switches operate from 200 GHz to 1.2 THz in the cryogenic and high-field sample environment -- eliminating the need to align a THz beam through multiple cryostat windows. In Phase I, first generation prototype hardware demonstrated the promise of this approach especially for characterization of thin-film electronic materials. This proposal focuses on finalizing development, application, validation, and software integration of the experimental methods and physical models that ultimately form the heart of a commercial THz material characterization system. In this work, the accuracy of material parameter extraction algorithms will be improved with the development of a calibration procedure specific to this experimental platform. Upgrades to first generation hardware, including a more phase-stable CW-THz spectrometer, will improve the efficiency and reliability of signal acquisition. Finally, the hardware, calibration and material property extraction algorithms will be validated through a series of Hall and CW-THz characterization measurements on conductive ZnO thin films.; BENEFIT: This system will be an affordable, compact, convenient-to-use measurement platform focused on the characterization needs of researchers of novel electronic and magnetic materials. As a turnkey solution conditioned with the necessary cryogenic/ magnetic sample environment and application-specific software, scientist users who are not necessarily optics and THz experts can rapidly begin productive and illuminating material characterization work. THz characterization is expected to help reveal new properties of materials being studied for high speed semiconductor, THz sensors, photovoltaics, organic electronics, and spintronics applications, as well as chemical/biological threat detection.
Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc. | Date: 2014-03-04
Optical fiber anchors accomplishing low creep confinement or fixing of a section of optical fiber in an assembly compact enough to be used conveniently as an anchor or as an enabling part of a strain or temperature sensor while retaining low optical losses and the original buffer coating to prevent the fiber from being exposed to abrasion and other influences that could lead to breakage. A rigid body is used that is mechanically stiff and hard enough to prevent the fiber from cutting into it or distorting the medium or substrate when subjected to stress, even over a long period of years. Trapping can be accomplished by molding the bent fiber into the substrate or body, adhesively bonding or soldering the optical fiber into a confining curved groove in a body or substrate.
Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc. | Date: 2011-08-31
Sensors operate by resolving changes in orientation of a wavelength dependent structure with respect to a reference direction determined by an incident light beam, resulting in very high sensitivity and dynamic range. Said sensors are wavelength encoded, can be multiplexed in a single light path such as an optical fiber, yet are decoupled mechanically from the fiber, resulting in high stability.
Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc. | Date: 2010-11-11
A compact, optically double-ended sensor probe with at least one 180 bend provided in the optical fiber in close proximity to a fiber Bragg grating temperature sensor suspends the optical fiber within a casing in such a way that the expansion and contract of the probe casing will not materially influence the temperature reading of the fiber Bragg grating by adding time varying or temperature varying stress components.
Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc. | Date: 2011-12-02
Optical fiber anchors accomplishing low creep confinement or fixing of a section of optical fiber in an assembly compact enough to be used conveniently as an anchor or as an enabling part of a strain or temperature sensor while retaining low optical losses and the original buffer coating to prevent the fiber from being exposed to abrasion and other influences that could lead to breakage. A rigid body is used that is mechanically stiff and hard enough to prevent said fiber from cutting into it or distorting said medium or substrate when subjected to stress, even over a long period of years. Trapping can be accomplished by molding the bent fiber into the substrate or body, adhesively bonding or soldering the optical fiber into a confining curved groove in a body or substrate.
Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc. and Toyo Engineering Corporation | Date: 2010-03-03
To eliminate or otherwise reduce unintended movement of a probe tip of a probe assembly being held by a probe arm, the probe assembly includes one or more resilient members that compensate for the contraction or expansion of the probe arm in accordance with the coefficient of thermal expansion of the material from which the probe arm is made. Thus, the probe tip can remain in contact with a sample being measured at the desired location on the sample, during an automated full or wide scale temperature range sweep.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 599.78K | Year: 2011
The innovative, high transmission band-pass filter technology proposed here is an improvement in multilayer metal-mesh filter design and manufacture for the far IR to submillimeter ranges. The proposed metal-mesh filters can tolerate cryogenic temperatures (down to 4K and below) and a wide vibration/shock spectrum, making them launch-capable and durable for long periods in space. In addition, the proposed band-pass filters are light weight, as they employ no heavy substrates. The proposed 2?5 mm thickness (mostly the mounting frame) allows insertion into tight spaces and standard filter wheels. The thin, light weight, vacuum compatible design can be incorporated into almost any detector setup. Large sizes can be manufactured for newer instruments with larger diameter beams.
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is intended to investigate the feasibility of enhanced magneto-optic thin garnet films, capable of converting magnetic field intensity to optical data using Faraday polarization rotation, and fabrication of such films using a novel method of manufacturing all-dielectric metal oxides. This type of thin film is known as an "in-plane" film because the magnetization vector lies in the plane of the substrate and must be distinguished from the "out-of-plane" thick films that are used in large quantities in optical communications (e.g. for isolators and circulators), and in some electrical current sensors. With the projected film properties and proposed system design, it is estimated that magneto-optical imagers (MOIs) can resolve spatial magnetic features of less than 200 nm and magnetic field strengths of less than 100 nanotesla (which corresponds to electrical currents of less than 10