Optical Windows from Nanostructured Ceramic Composites

Period of Performance: 07/01/2004 - 04/30/2005


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Synkera Technologies Inc.
2605 Trade Centre Ave, Suite C
Longmont, CO 80503
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Colorado Boulder
572 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
Institution POC


Future weapon and aircraft systems require IR windows and domes capable of withstanding greater heating rates, greater mechanical loads, and more severe rain and particle impact environments than can be withstood by sapphire. Nanostructured ceramic composites with grain size below 50 nm have the potential to achieve such performance. Synkera Technologies proposes the development of a new nanostructured ceramic composite with innovative architecture for fabricating IR windows and domes. The proposed composite architecture incorporates a nanostructured honeycomb-like matrix of one ceramic reinforced with another nanostructured ceramic phase of different composition. The intrinsic features of the proposed composite will allow the retention of sub-50 nm grain size. Precision nanoengineering of the composite structure and chemical composition will enable the low-cost production of IR windows and domes with good transparency, superior strength and thermal shock resistance. The proposed approach will be implemented by combining core expertise and capabilities of Synkera Technologies and the University of Colorado at Boulder.