Rare-earth-doped Nanoparticles for Remote Readout Topic 1.a

Period of Performance: 06/12/2017 - 03/11/2018

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NP Photonics, Inc.
9030 South Rita Road Suite 120
Tucson, AZ 85747
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

New and novel passive optical taggants for remote readout are desired by the Office of Proliferation Detection of DOE for early detection of nuclear weapons development. NP Photonics proposes to make passive optical taggants made of rare-earth-doped glass nanoparticles for remote tracing and identification applications. Due to the low phonon energy, the rare-earth-doped specialty glasses emit light at the 3-5 µm mid-infrared atmosphere transparency window when they absorb incident lasers at near-infrared atmosphere transparency windows. These unique absorption and emission characteristics make our rare-earth-doped glass materials excellent candidates for passive optical taggants with outstanding covertness and security for remote readout. In this Phase I program we will focus on studying the emission and absorption properties of rare-earth doped specialty glasses and demonstrating proposed optical taggants with rare-earth-doped glass nanoparticles. The fully functional passive optical taggant devices for remote readout will be developed and delivered to DOE labs for test in Phase II. Our proposed passive optical taggants can be used in various commercial, homeland security, and military applications including identification of friend-or-foe, tracking of explosives and radioactive materials, and locating and identifying personnel and assets.