High-Refractive-Index Polymer Fibers for Imaging Systems

Period of Performance: 03/29/2005 - 03/29/2006

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Paradigm Optics, Inc.
Suite B10614615 NE 13th Court
Vancouver, WA 98685
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovative Research Phase I project is focused on the design and development of novel fiber optic arrays for use as image inverters. In a collaborative effort with scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory we will investigate new methods for incorporating nanoparticles into polymer optical fibers for use in these arrays. To the best of our knowledge this research will lead to the first optical fiber doped with inorganic nanoparticles. The polymer optical fibers produced as a result of this research will be optimal for imaging applications such as fiber optic inverters. Nanoparticle doping of the polymer allows for inexpensive realization of a high refractive index without adversely affecting the optical qualities of the polymer. Conventional doping or copolymerization techniques cannot achieve a high refractive index while maintaining optical quality. Nanoparticle doped polymer image inverters have several distinct advantages over their glass counterparts, including lighter weight and the ability to be doped with organic or inorganic compounds to add functionality to the fiber array and to increase image clarity and resolution of the fiber optic array (inverter).