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Austin, TX, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Modern electronic and opto-electronic devices are predicated on controlled deposition and patterning of functional material layers (e.g. semiconductors, conductors, and dielectrics). Vacuum epitaxy and chemical vapor deposition, in conjunction with lithographic methods, have dominated the manufacture of these systems. While these techniques are well-established and routinely deliver reliable and excellent performance, they are expensive to operate and maintain and are relegated to the processing of rigid, planar substrates. New integrated optics and photonics technologies stand to benefit from transitioning the successes of vacuum thin film deposition and lithographic patterning to a mass-producible, conformable optoelectronic device manufacturing platform. Critical to this transformation will be the ability to use low-cost conventional printing technologies to pattern precursors of active-layer materials (e.g. semiconductors with high refractive indices) onto a variety of substrates and subsequently consolidate the precursors into photonic circuit components (waveguides, splitters, modulators, amplifiers, filters) and electro-optical devices (energy harvesting devices, conformal antennas, infrared emitter, sensor arrays, etc.). To enable high-throughput, low-cost manufacturing of photonic circuitry, Nanohmics, Inc., working in collaboration with industrial and academic partners, have formulated a class of high-refractive-index-material inks and developed methods for in-line, direct-write printing and consolidation of the inks into photonic circuit components on large-area, continuous webs. BENEFIT: The proposed method form factor is amenable to a number of distributed sensor network applications including chemical- monitoring, where Nanohmics has identified a current unmet need in the industrial safety monitoring market. In addition to the possibility of producing a printed, conformal chemical sensor measurement device, the inks and sintering techniques developed under this program will enable a large number of other optically-active elements including arrayed waveguide gratings, printed microemitters and detectors, photonic crystals, lasing elements, and other gas- and liquid-phase optical sensors. The primary goal of the work effort is the development of low-cost methods for producing precursor inks and subsequently sintering them into impactful photonic circuits.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 998.16K | Year: 2014

We propose to develop reactive composite materials with sufficient strength and stiffness to serve as structural components for penetrating weapons and other munitions. The composites will consist of two materials that react with each other, in either oxidation-reduction (such as in a thermite) or bimetallic reactions. One component will be in the form of fiber, wire, or wire-mesh, within a bonding matrix of the other component or a third material, such as epoxy or other polymer. The result will be a fiber-reinforced composite material with substantial strength and stiffness properties that can be tailored to specific applications, while providing significant thermal energy release on impact. This greater energy on impact will provide increased weapons effectiveness, including in defeating hard and deeply buried targets. Various material systems and conventional composites fabrication techniques will be investigated.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2016

Providing Marines with enhanced situational awareness through the real-time display of night vision imagery, thermal vision overlays, or waypoint and navigational cues, to name a few options, must not also compromise their position or force disorienting transitions in focal point or sudden changes in brightness. Producing a low SWaP full-color light-secure display with a large FOV that also transmits the majority of incoming ambient light can leverage emerging augmented reality technology geared at the commercial sector, but ultimately requires innovative elements to achieve the requisite metrics. Nanohmics proposes to develop a real-time transmissive display technology that provides high ambient light throughput and prevents light leakage, capable of day and night operation.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 707.96K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Nanohmics proposes to develop the FlashLED, a reusable extended artificial light source. Using commercial off the shelf (COTS) light emitting diodes (LEDs) and custom optics, it is possible to create a lighting system that matches the luminous output of the flash bulb with triggerability and intensity rise-time on the nanosecond timescale. The complete system will be expandable and offer synchronization between the flash units via both wired and wireless pathways. COTS white LEDs are tightly binned for spectral output in a wide variety of color temperatures, including 3800K, and monochromatic versions are available for special imaging applications. The reusable nature of the system combined with the fast rise times of LEDs also allow for the flash to fire multiple times per test in synchronicity with the image acquisition. The solid state nature of the LEDs and their drive electronics allow them to withstand high mechanical shock values induced by passing rocket sleds or explosions. Additionally, each unit will have an easily replaceable sheet, constructed from impact resistant polymer, to protect the custom optic from damage by shrapnel generated from a test event. BENEFIT: Flash illumination is a complex and varied market with hundreds of use cases and almost as many ways to create flashes, whether the lamp is dedicated to a single task or multiple tasks in a single device. Frost & Sullivan put the strobe illumination market at $2.25 billion in 2009. This includes all major uses from personal and commercial to scientific and filming. The scientific and technical markets are likely between $100M-200M per year. Markets for flash illumination include Military, Automotive, Industrial/Environmental, Food Industry, Manufacturing, Filming and Medical.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

"ABSTRACT: Modern electronic and opto-electronic devices are predicated on controlled deposition and patterning of functional material layers (e.g. semiconductors, conductors, and dielectrics). A handful of techniques, including vacuum epitaxy and chemical vapor deposition, in conjunction with lithographic micromachining methods, have long dominated the manufacture of these systems, particularly as feature critical dimensions are driven further into the nanoscale. While these techniques are well-established and routinely deliver reliable and excellent performance, they are expensive to operate and maintain and are relegated to the processing of rigid, planar substrates. A host of new integrated optics and photonics technologies stand to benefit from transitioning the successes of vacuum thin film deposition and lithographic patterning to a mass-producible, conformable optoelectronic device manufacturing platform. Critical to this transformation will be the ability to use low-cost conventional printing technologies to pattern precursors of active-layer materials (e.g. semiconductors with high refractive indices) onto a variety of substrates and subsequently “consolidate” the precursors into photonic circuit components (waveguides, splitters, modulators, amplifiers, filters) and electro-optical devices (energy harvesting devices, conformal antennas, and infrared emitter and sensor arrays, for example). In some applications, a small performance tradeoff may be acceptable for a significant cost savings, but the patterned and consolidated end product performance ultimately must be comparable to its high-cost, traditionally-manufactured counterpart. To enable high-throughput, low-cost manufacturing of photonic circuitry, Nanohmics, Inc., an electro-optics and early-stage-technology development company based in Austin, TX, working in collaboration with industrial and academic partners have formulated a class of high-refractive-index-material inks and developed methods for in-line, direct-write printing and consolidation of the inks into photonic circuit components on large-area, continuous webs."

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