NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 S3.04-8981
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optical Devices for Starlight Detection and Wavefront Analysis
PROPOSAL TITLE: Nano-Enabled Low-Cost High-Performance UV Anti-Reflection Coatings

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
AGILTRON Corporation
15 Cabot Road
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1050
(781) 935-1200

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
King Q Wang
15 Cabot Road
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1003
(781) 935-1200

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Agiltron together with Prof. Michael Rubner's group at MIT is developing a new family of nanoporous, low refractive index coatings for next generation NASA UV anti-reflection (AR) application on large plastic optics. The initial application is intended for 2.5 m diameter PMMA Fresnel lenses which NASA anaticipates as part of the EUSO mission cosmic ray telescope. The new thin film technology combines MIT advances in nano-structured, self-assembled, low index multilayer structures with Agiltron's recently developed mist deposition process, a method for applying large area thin films at low temperature with precise layer thickness control. The proposed UV AR coatings consist of inter-connected oxide nanoparticles in the form of a 3D nanoporous network able to produce stable films with refractive indices as low as 1.1 and high transparency in the visible - UV. In Phase I of this program we successfully demonstrated AR coatings on PMMA substrates with UV reflectance less than 1% at 300-400 nm (compared to 5% for bare PMMA substrates). In Phase II, Agiltron intends to further develop the coatings to a higher technical readiness level (TRL) by improving the robustness and abrasion resistance of the films and engineering the deposition techniques to enable multilayer coatings of tuned refractive index (graded index) for broader band AR performance. By the end of Phase II, nanoporous films deposited by the mist process will possess high transparency, good environmental stability, and excellent abrasion resistance and mechanical integrity. The material can be applied conformally on large area glass and plastic substrates (polycarbonate, PMMA) using low annealing temperatures. Mist deposition is fundamentally inexpensive and may have commercial applications to the plastic optics industry for eyeglasses or cellphone camera lenses.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Nanoporous coatings offer dual functionality of anti-reflection and anti-fogging. Potential military applications include goggles, laser safety eye protective lenses, chemical/ biological face masks, ballistic shields for explosive ordnance disposal personnel, and windows for vehicles. Mist deposition is fundamentally inexpensive and may have commercial applications to the plastic optics industry for eyeglasses and cellphone camera lenses, sport and diving goggles, auto windshields, windows in public transit vehicles, solar panels and green-house enclosures, and architectural products.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Nanoporous coating technology is applicable to anti-reflection coatings for the electromagnetic spectrum from UV through near-IR. An immediate need is for coatings on large (2.5 m) PMMA Fresnel lenses intended for the EUSO extreme energy cosmic ray telescope. Previous coatings have given poor adhesion on PMMA. NASA's contribution to this international mission depends on design of a plastic lens telescope whose antireflection treatments show very high optical efficiency over a wide UV band, large area uniformity, conformal deposition, low film stress, and minimal scattering and absorption.

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.

Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Optical & Photonic Materials

Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39