Eye Protection Research

Period of Performance: 01/01/1987 - 12/31/1987

$472K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gumbs Assoc., Inc.
11 HARTS LANE
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DURING PHASE I, THE APPLICATION OF CONDUCTING POLYMERS SUCH AS POLYPYRROLE AS A SWITCHABLE FILTER MATERIAL FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THREATS FROM LOW TO MEDIUM ENERGY LASERS WAS INVESTIGATED. AS A PART OF THE INITIAL CONCEPT FEASIBILITY EVALUATION PROCESS, THE FOLLOWING WAS SUCCESSFULLY DEMONSTRATED: 1) SYNTHESIS OF POLYPYRROLIUM TOLUENE SULFONATE IN THIN FILM FORM VIA ELECTROCHEMICAL POLYMERIZATION IN A NON-AQUEOUS MEDIUM; 2) ELECTROCHEMICAL CYCLING OF THIS CONDUCTING POLYMER IN THIN FILM FORM; 3) ELECTROCHEMICAL AND OPTICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF THE OXIDIZED AS WELL AS THE REDUCED STATE IN ORDER TO EVALUATE THE SWITCHING EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY; AND 4) FABRICATION OF MULTILAYER DEVICES WHICH FUNCTION AS SWITCHABLE LASER FILTERS. BASED ON THESE RESULTS, A FOLLOW ON PROGRAM WHICH CAN BRING THESE MATERIALS TO FIELD TRIALS AND ACTUAL APPLICATION IS PROPOSED. SPECIFIC TECHNICAL OBJECTIVES OF THE PHASE II EFFORT ARE: 1) OPTIMIZE THE COMPOSITION OF THE LASER SWITCHING MATERIALS, AND THE DESIGN OF THE DEVICE FOR THE NECESSARY LEVEL OF EYE PROTECTION, FOLLOWING PHASE I RESULTS; 2) DEVELOP TECHNIQUES TO PREPARE LARGE AREA POLYPYRROLE FILMS OF UNIFORM THICKNESS, AND INCORPORATE THEM IN LARGE AREA DEVICES; 3) PERFORM SWITCHING TESTS ON THESE LARGE AREA DEVICES; 4) CONDUCT ACCELERATED TESTS TO DETERMINE ENVIRONMENTAL STABILITY; AND 5) CONTINUE A RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM AIMED AT DEVELOPING NEW IMPROVED POLYMERS, AND EVALUATING OPTICAL SWITCHING IN ORDER TO DEVELOP PASSIVELY SWITCHING SYSTEMS WITH GIGAHERTZ RESPONSE. ANTICIPATED RESULTS/POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS OF THE RESEARCHTHE PROPOSED WORK, IF SUCCESSFUL, WILL LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW CLASS OF LASER BLOCKING MATERIALS AND STRUCTURES. THE PROPOSED APPLICATION IS SUITABLE FOR EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT AND SPECIALIST PERSONNEL, E.G., HELICOPTER AND TANK CREWS.