A Novel Technology to Produce Yb:Sr-FAP Transparent Laser Host Ceramics in Non-Isotropic Materials

Period of Performance: 09/01/2014 - 06/01/2015

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Texas Biochemicals Inc.
2151, Harvey Mitchell Pkwy South STE# 225
College Station, TX 77840
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802
Institution POC

Abstract

ABSTRACT: To fabricate transparent ceramics composed of anisotropic laser gain media, the crystal orientations of micro-domains should be aligned identically. Current method involve application of high magnetic field. Texas Biochemicals Inc. recently developed a novel technology to produce faceted hexagonal prism c axis oriented Yb: Sr-FAP [Yb: Sr5(PO4)3F nanocrystallites and sintered into transparent ceramics via a proprietary sintering route in house. In Phase-I project, Texas Biochemicals Inc., will advance the manufacturing technology for large scale production of Yb:Sr-FAP faceted hexagonal nano-crystallites and sinter into a transparent ceramics of size 1 inch disk samples. This technology is environmentally benign and cost effective, to produce large scale Yb:Sr-FAP transparent ceramics for high energy laser applications. Cost estimation and a path forward to manufacture sizes needed by the US Air Force will also be addressed in Phase I. The resultant sintered product will be highly durable, chemically stable, having twice the order of magnitude in mechanical strength when compared to the existing product. On a follow on Phase-II project this technology will be commercialized by a leading laser manufacturer who is very much interested in this technology. BENEFIT: It is anticipated that this technology development will be useful to the DoD for high energy laser applications, directed energy weapons, advanced countermeasures against heat seeking missile applications. Military applications will also include transparent armor, windshields and blast shields. Commercial applications include laser eye surgery, artificial bone replacement, high intensity industrial lighting, commercial laser gain products, and optical ceramics, such as high temperature envelopes for metal gas lamps. An environmental impact can also be expected, if solar concentrators can be utilized with these transparent materials.