Lightpath and Nanomaterial Innovation hope to enhance precision glass molding with graphene

LightPath Technologies has won a $200,000 SBIR award to work on carbide bonded graphene coating for enhanced glass molding.

LightPath Technologies (NASDAQ:LPTH; Orlando, FL), a maker of optical and infrared components and assemblies, has won a $200,000 sub-award from the National Science Foundation for a Phase II SBIR award for carbide bonded graphene coating for enhanced glass molding. LightPath is part of the research team led by the primary grantee, Nanomaterial Innovation Limited (NIL), a spin-off from The Ohio State University. The principle investigator and owner of NIL is Jianfeng Yu, a senior research scientist in the Jon Parquett Research Group at Ohio State.

Graphene has emerged as one of the most interesting materials for optical applications because of its high strength and thermal conductivity. Commercial applications are limited by the difficulty of scaling up graphene fabrication. However, a novel graphene-containing film deposition method developed at The Ohio State University/NIL could help to overcome this challenge and allow graphene to be utilized in a wide variety of applications, including precision glass molding.

During Phase I, NIL showed that when used for mold release this graphene coating provided potential advantages for molding both visible and infrared glasses. In Phase II, LightPath joins NIL as an industrial partner and will use its experience in molding optics to apply this coating to a production environment.

Anticipated benefits include enhanced mold lifetimes, improved molding yields, and, therefore, reduced costs for both visible and infrared optics. The work will focus on molding both singlet lenses as well as multi-cavity optics. These optical components may be critical as an enabling factor for driving enhanced functionality and lower cost for end products used in military, public safety, medical, industrial, automotive markets.

Source: Lightpath Technologies

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