Ferroelectric Relaxor Materials for High-Frequency Sensors and High-Speed Optical Switches

Period of Performance: 04/04/2006 - 10/03/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Srico, Inc.
Columbus, OH 43235
Principal Investigator


This proposal addresses the development of novel ferroelectric relaxors, such as PMN-PT, to produce a new class of ultra-high sensitivity, non-intrusive, compact electro-optical electric field probes for frequencies up to and beyond 100GHz. This material is capable of demonstrating an electro-optic coefficient that is more than an order of magnitude higher than the industry standard lithium niobate material. The development of thin film ferroelectric relaxors having ultra-high electro-optic coefficient would dramatically enhance the capabilities of optical waveguide electric field sensor probes for use in High Power Microwave (HPM) test environments. This work will result in a new generation of waveguiding devices in which massive electro-optic responses of single crystal relaxor ferroelectrics, such as PZN-PT and PMN-PT, are exploited to electro-optically manipulate light. The work described in this proposal will result in a deeper understanding of how to guide light in relaxor ferroelectrics, how crystallographic distortions in morphotropic relaxor ferroelectrics result in their unusually large response to electric fields, and how to best integrate thin films of these types of materials onto suitable substrates while preserving the properties of interest. This development effort would benefit fiber and free-space optical communication and switching systems, local area networks and chip-to-chip optical interconnects.BENEFITS: High-sensitivity E-field probes for the detection of HPM. Electro-magnetic compliance (EMC) and electro-magnetic-interference (EMI) testing in a variety of industries, including consumer electronics, instrumentation and avionics. Free-space and guided-wave optical communication systems. Medical and bio-sensing applications requiring non-intrusive sensing of electro-magnetic energy.