NASA STTR 2006 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Science Sensors and Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE:Plasmon-Enhanced Photonic Crystal Negative Index Materials for Superlensing Applications

NAME: OMEGA OPTICS, INC. NAME:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ADDRESS:10435 Burnet Road, Suite 108 ADDRESS:1206 West Green Street
CITY:Austin CITY:Urbana
STATE/ZIP:TX  78758-4450 STATE/ZIP:IL  61801-2906
PHONE: (512) 996-8833 PHONE: (312) 479-7557

Wei   Jiang

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Negative index materials (NIMs) offer tremendous potential for the formation of highly compact as well as large-area deployable thin-film optical components. Omega Optics and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) propose to design and prototype photonic crystal (PC) based NIM optical components for space telescope and beam scanner applications. "Coating" metallic gratings on the surfaces of a polymeric photonic crystal NIM device will enable the strong coupling of surface plasmons with the PC based NIM, which may significantly enhance the capability of NIMs in device applications. With such plasmon-enhanced photonic crystal NIMs, Omega Optics and UIUC are particularly interested in building optical components such as NIM coating for chromatic aberration correction and NIM based field-of-view expander. The proposed optical components promise deployable form, reduced system dimensions, and lightweight single element optical devices with performances comparable to high cost multi-element design. They may also provide excellent noise-filtering capabilities for some space applications. Overall, NIMs offer the potential for paper-thin, deployable, complex lens structures, thus promising a breakthrough in optical devices and structures.
To prove the feasibility of the proposed idea, optical components will be designed and fabricated during Phase I for proof-of-concept demonstrations. A fully-packaged device prototype will be developed during Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed photonic crystal based NIM devices can be utilized in a broad range of telescopes, lidars, and/or laser beam scanners in space. For example, the NIM coating for chromatic aberration correction can be utilized to replace multi-element complex lens systems in some telescopes. The NIM based field-of-view expander can be utilized for mapping telescopes, target-tracking lidars, and wide-angle beam scanners for their capability to collect large solid angle of light.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The advantage offered by plasmon-enhanced photonic crystal NIMs will certainly impact a broad spectrum of space and commercial imaging and optical coating technologies. Plasmon-enhanced PC negative index materials and superlenses could be the foundation of a suite of precision optical component and assemblies, such as achromatic coatings, corner reflectors, and open cavity resonators in optical communication markets, and can be extended to applications such as remote sensing and night vision with light weight and ultracompact optics with low cost.

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 09-09-06 13:11