Photonics; BMDO/02-211B-Optical Devices

Period of Performance: 06/11/2002 - 12/11/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


In this Small Business Innovation Research Phase I proposal, development of fully integrated stationary wave-guided NxN optical router switches is proposed. The new witches over perform the MEMs and conventional liquid crystal switch technologies. Made from the revolutionary liquid crystal based single layer switchable mirror, this new switch features low insertion loss, low cross-talk, low polarization dispersion loss, fast speed, low cost, beam self-alignment and easy to manufacture. Based on the Phase I success, prototypes of NxN optical switch with N up to 64 will be fabricated in the anticipated Phase II program followed by a full commercialization. The switch will replace the currently deployed electro-mechanical optical switch to enhance current optical network performance. The success of this proposal will have many broad-based applications. Telecommunication system is the primary application. Other application is to use the developed liquid crystal switchable mirror as a light valve for projection display device. Third, a spectrally tunable filter can be developed based on this technology.