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Plymouth, MN, United States

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 743.60K | Year: 2016

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant This project will develop swept wavelength laser light sources at several frequencies in the near infrared NIR While applicable to numerous applications the goal is to use these laser sources as an enabling technology for Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Imaging DOSI a technique which allows noninvasive characterization of human tissue and can monitor and predict chemotherapy response in the treatment of breast cancer During this Phase II project the sources will be adapted to three specific wavelength ranges that are useful in detecting molecular states of the three most absorbent NIR tissue absorbers hemoglobin nm lipid nm and water nm The three light sources will be integrated into a miniature x mm NIR laser module for use in a handheld imaging system This is an enabling technology that will greatly expand technical capability and clinical applicability of optical imaging as well as the scientific knowledge that will result fro its incorporation into research studies The technology for the swept optical sources is based on a vertical cavity surface emitting laser VCSEL and a micro electro mechanical system MEMS that allows for wide tunability The devices require very low power to operate and the fabrication platform is robust low cost and adaptable to many applications Phase I of this project has already demonstrated a prototype swept laser source capable of mW output power and nm tuning range Phase II will improve upon these results to realize mW optical power and continuous tunability over nm which are practical requirements for a hand held DOSI system The swept NIR source will improve the performance and commercialization potential of a DOSI instrument by allowing D subsurface imaging improving the signal to noise ratio of the image by delivering a much higher photon intensity to the detector and allowing the miniaturization of the device so that it is compatible with routine clinical use Furthermore the unique spectral and performance characteristics of this laser open up a wide range of biomedical and other applications that can benefit from a miniaturized swept source PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This project will develop several new optical light sources that enable improved functional optical imaging of human tissue specifically for tissue hemoglobin fat and water concentration The new light sources will be integrated into a portable imaging system for breast cancer Key applications include differential diagnosis of breast cancer as well as monitoring and predicting the effectiveness of chemotherapy

VCSEL apparatus having a substrate, a solid-state gain medium, a reflective mirror on one side of the medium, a movable reflective mirror on an opposite side of the medium, and a mechanism configured to move the movable mirror to tune a characteristic wavelength. Also described is a VCSEL apparatus having a silicon substrate having a slot therethrough and electrical connections formed on a first face, a substrate having VCSELs thereon and mounted across the slot and electrically connected to the electrical connections on the silicon substrate, and a glass substrate affixed to a second face of the silicon substrate. Also described is a VCSEL apparatus having a graded-index lens array having GRIN lenses mounted adjacently in a staggered arrangement, a PCB mounted to the lens array, and VCSEL chips mounted adjacently on the PCB and arranged so as to emit laser light through the lenses.

Vixar Inc | Date: 2014-05-14

Plastic optical fiber data communication links. Particularly, plastic optical fiber data communication links for embedded applications. More particularly, unique packaging approaches to constructing a very small, low cost, but high performance optical link, which may operate at 1 gigabits per second (Gbps) or faster.

Vixar Inc | Date: 2015-06-16

An optical package having a patterned submount, an optoelectronic device mounted to the patterned submount, a spacer affixed on one side to the patterned submount, the spacer having a bore hole therethrough wherein the optoelectronic device is positioned, and an optical element affixed to the spacer on a side opposite the patterned submount and covering the spacer bore hole. The patterned submount may be a circuit board. The optoelectronic device may be a VCSEL. The spacer may be affixed to the circuit board, for example, using an epoxy preform or an adhesive laminate. The spacer may, for example, be manufactured from a sheet of stainless steel or from a circuit board. The optical element may be, for example, a diffuser, a concave lens, a convex lens, a holographic element, polarizers, or diffraction gratings. The optical element may be affixed to the spacer using an epoxy preform or an adhesive laminate.

Downing J.,USL Technologies LLC | Babic D.,University of Zagreb | Hibbs-Brenner M.,Vixar Inc
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2013

We demonstrate a miniature VCSEL-based light source with optical power output that varies by less than 50 ppm/°C over a 40°C temperature range. This represents a ten-fold improvement in control accuracy over what is achieved by the best available light sources with semiconductor emitters. A single-mode, polarization-locked, 670-nm VCSEL (Vixar, Inc.) is used to demonstrate the feasibility of the light source. The critical component of our control system is a beamsplitter formed by a wedge of fused silica with a weakly-polarizing, interference coating. A wedge shape eliminates fluctuations in optical power caused by interference fringes and the normal incidence of the exit beam removes polarization dependency as well as the need for an anti-reflective coating. The beamsplitter is in a closed control loop that enables compensation for control errors caused by changes in photodetector responsivity, emission wavelength, and beam divergence with temperature. We also show that careful attention to optical and mechanical alignment is essential to realize the performance enhancements reported herein. Angular tolerances of ±0.05° are required and most coating houses lack the metrology capabilities to characterize the TCB coating with such high tolerances. A discrete-wavelength reflectometer was developed for this purpose. © 2013 SPIE.

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