High Performance Liquid Crystals for Infrared Applications

Period of Performance: 08/01/2005 - 05/01/2006

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Kent Optronics, Inc.
275 Martinel Dr. Suite W
Kent, OH 44240
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32816
Institution POC

Abstract

This STTR Phase I proposal focuses on a liquid crystal material research to improve the performance of new classes of electro-optically active and spectrally responsive cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) with tunable selective reflection properties and with variable yet controllable selective reflection bandwidth. The technical objectives are to design and synthesize high figure-of-merit (FOM) liquid crystal(s) for the CLC filters to enhance the performance, aiming at > 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 600 nm spectral tuning range. These unprecedented performance characteristics plus the improved thermal stability, low power consumption, resistance to both UV radiation and mechanical impact make them suitable for dynamical military and space applications. Phase I is a feasibility study of the high FOM liquid crystal influence on the CLC agile filter performance to address the conceptual approaches to meeting the desired specifications. In Phase II, prototype filters will be developed followed by Phase III for commercialization for both military and non-military applications.