Liquid Crystal Technology for High Efficiency Polarizer-free Electrically Tunable Spatially Addressable Ir Agile Notch Filters

Period of Performance: 06/01/2004 - 12/01/2004

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposal relates to a novel liquid crystal technology that leads to the birth of first-of-its-kind polarizer-free spectrally agile and spatially addressable reflective infrared (IR) dynamic optical agile filters for military sensor anti-jamming, as well as laser energy control, switching, and redirection. Featuring a narrow band reflection peak that is electrically tunable and micro-sized pixels, the new agile filters behave as tunable notch filtering spatial light modulators (SLM) with excellent spectral characteristics from 0.9 to 3 mm, > 1,000:1 contrast ratio, > 80% off-peak transmission, > 600 nm spectral tuning range, millisecond response time, and thin film type configuration. In addition, their improved thermal stability, low power consumption, as well as resistance to both UV radiation and mechanical impact make them suitable for space applications. Phase I is a feasibility study on the liquid crystal technology toward the IR agile filters to address the conceptual approaches to meeting the desired performance specifications. In Phase II, prototype filters will be developed and tested, followed by Phase III for commercialization for both military and non-military applications