Sparks, MD--Photonics technology company Brimrose Corporation received two new Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards from the U.S. Army's Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) unit. The first award (CBD 13-104) is for an Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter-based (AOTF) Polarimetric Imaging System for Stand-Off Chemical Detection, and the second award (CBD 13-105) is for Development of Low-Cost Infrared Focal Plane Array for Passive Chemical Detection Using Colloidal Quantum Dots (CQDs).
For the AOTF SBIR, Brimrose will apply its considerable understanding of AOTFs in the long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) region to optimize the device fabrication techniques using mercurous halide materials. The goal for Phase I of the research is to develop and design an AOTF spectral polarimetric imaging system that uses an LWIR focal plane array as the detector. In Phase II, the system will be fully built and demonstrated. The variety of potential applications include remote sensing, pollution detection, environmental monitoring and mapping, automobile emission monitoring, and process control in the manufacture of foods, beverages, semiconductors, petrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals.
The FPA award using quantum dots (http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/print/volume-45/issue-4/newsbreaks/quantum-dots-double-performance-of-current-sensing-fiber.html) will be researched in collaboration with Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina. The goal is to develop low-cost, long-wavelength infrared focal plane arrays (LWIR FPAs) using colloidal quantum dots of II-VI semi-metallic compounds. Brimrose intends to develop reliable fabrication processes to make mercury telluride (HgTe) CQDs, and methods to extend the capabilities into the LWIR range will be examined. The work is exploratory in that it has mainly occurred in the mid-IR range heretofore.
This research has the potential to replace far more expensive sensors that only operate effectively at cryogenic temperatures. Also, the techniques used to fabricate existing FPAs are very expensive and have low yields of usable sensors. The Brimrose research may lead to far less expensive sensors operating at room temperatures that potentially could be helpful to first responders, fire fighters, and military post-blast reconnaissance teams.
SOURCE: Brimrose; http://www.brimrose.com/press.html