Transparent YAG Ceramics for IR Windows Produced from High Purity YAG Nanopowders

Period of Performance: 04/25/2008 - 02/25/2011

$5.12MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanocerox, Inc.
712 State Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Nanocerox proposes to use our custom formulated, high purity yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) nanopowder for the production of YAG windows 6 by 12 by 10 mm thick with theoretical transmission from visible to 5µm wavelengths to demonstrate their utility in IR transparent material applications. YAG is a high strength ceramic which, with proper processing, can achieve our phase II optical goals of 20ppm refractive index uniformity and 200ppm/cm absorption at 1064nm wavelength in useful sized parts. In Phase I, Nanocerox demonstrated its ability to achieve stringent purity, composition, and processing specifications by repeatedly producing YAG ceramics with near theoretical transmission from visible to 5µm wavelengths and biaxial fracture strength of 339MPa using its patented Liquid-Phase Flame Spray Pyrolysis technique and appropriate consolidation and sintering procedures. Phase II technical objectives include both development of transparent YAG parts of useful size and high optical and mechanical quality, but the capability to scale these processes to high volume, reproducible production. Based on our phase I experiments, we see no impassable challenges in meeting these objectives. Success in Phase II will yield a manufacturable process capable of producing larger prototypes under consultation with Air Force technical officers.