NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Optics and Optical Telescopes (including X-ray, UV, Visual, IR)
PROPOSAL TITLE:High-Density Diffraction Imaging and Non-Imaging Grating Elements for EUV and X-ray Spectroscopy Fabricated by DUV Reduction Photolithography

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
860 W. Park, Suite 250
Eugene, OR 97401-3061
(541) 431-0026

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dmitri   Iazikov
860 W. Park, Suite 250
Eugene, OR  97401-3061
(541) 284-4544

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Diffraction gratings are powerful tools for the spectral analysis of electromagnetic radiation. Properties of gratings are determined by available fabrication means ? which have not changed substantially in 50 years. Modern photolithography, now approaching nanometer resolution, may revolutionize the way many gratings are made and, through greater design flexibility, how gratings function. Over 1011 pixels, each smaller than 100 nm and collectively spanning areas of multiple centimeters, can be addressed individually with nanometer-scale absolute positioning accuracy by modern lithographic tools, thereby making it possible to create gratings with virtually any desired line curvature, variable line spacing, length and thickness ? features largely beyond traditional fabrication means. LightSmyth Technologies proposes to leverage these state-of-the-art photolithographic patterning tools to design flat imaging gratings that combine dispersive grating function with one- and two-dimensional focusing. Importantly, diffractive, aka holographic, focusing may have substantially lower aberration in low f-number or high incidence angle configurations. Line spacing and curvature do the focusing. This design and fabrication strategy will be applied to the development of gratings for NASA's NEXUS effort and other advanced grating products of value to NASA and the commercial markets ? all of which leverage on the innovative fabrication platform LightSmyth brings to the diffractive market.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology represents an innovative approach to creating aberration-corrected imaging gratings on flat substrates, as well as variable line spacing gratings with arbitrary line spacings and curvature. The Phase 2 effort aims at developing diffraction grating for the NEXUS spectrometer based on this approach, which are expected to provide superior performance and lower cost compared to traditionally fabricated mechanically-ruled curved-substrate gratings. The developed technology will be applicable to a wide range of NASA projects, and is expected to uniquely address the grating requirements of the Constellation-X project, EUNIS (Extreme Ultraviolet Normal-Incidence Spectrometer) of GSFC, RAISE (Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph Experiment) of the Southwest Research Institute and SUMI (Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation) of Marshall Space Flight Center by replacing traditional holographically and mechanically ruled gratings with the proposed computer-generated lithographically-fabricated diffraction gratings. After additional development, the technology will also yield gratings for visible and infrared spectroscopy for other NASA projects.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The compact aberration-corrected imaging diffractive elements to be derived from the present effort form the basis of spectrometers and spectrographs for the UV, visible and IR ranges. In combination with the capability to produce large volumes via wafer-scale fabrication these high quality focusing gratings elements with high dispersion, high line count, and short focusing length may create a true break-through in the consumer, industrial, military and scientific spectrometer markets. Applications include spectroscopic monitoring of industrial processes in the chemical, food, agriculture, pharmaceutical, textile, petroleum and mining industries, filtering in optical telecommunications as components of gain equalizers, tunable lasers, CWDM/DWDM multiplexers, medical diagnostics employing bio-optical techniques, spectroscopic quality control in laser and semiconductor production, environmental sampling and remote sensing for pollution control and monitoring of bioterrorism threats, and hyperspectral imaging for environmental and conservation applications and military applications.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Large Antennas and Telescopes
Optical & Photonic Materials

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04