A Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Air Force Research Laboratory will fund development of a chalcogenide glass lens for use in mid-infrared (MIR) semiconductor laser systems. IRradiance Glass Inc., which specializes in the compositional design and manufacture of chalcogenide glasses, will use the award to prototype the lens. Chalcogenide glasses are transparent in the IR spectrum. Used in imaging and spectroscopy devices, they can serve broad commercial markets such as firefighting, building inspection and cancer detection. With specialized lenses, MIR laser systems can be integrated into small, rugged spectrometers for both field and laboratory use. Such systems have a range of applications including gas leak and emissions monitoring, early cancer and disease detection, and stand-off explosive detection. "Lenses for these systems do not exist commercially, and our task is to develop a prototype lens for these applications," said David Musgraves, CEO of IRradiance Glass. "One of our primary goals is to help bring IR imaging and sensing technologies into broader commercial markets." Subcontract work on the project will be performed by researchers at the University of Central Florida in the College of Optics & Photonics (also called CREOL). Flex Optronix Technologies LLC, an Orlando company that develops flexible photonics and electro-optic products, will participate as well. For more information, visit www.irradianceglass.com.