RPO Awarded Small Business Grant for Chalcogenide Glass IR Development
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Precision Optics (RPO) LLC has been awarded a grant from the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) government program to pursue chalcogenide glass IR optic development for quantum cascade lasers.
RPO, after successful completion of Phase 1 STTR, seeks to develop a fast axis collimating lens for quantum cascade lasers (QCL), which are tunable to emit in the full IR range. Because primary applications are wide, the lenses must withstand the stress of both continuous wave and pulsed laser emission. Lenses for this application are not known to currently exist, making RPO first in the industry to achieve a working prototype.
“Our work in developing chalcogenide IR lenses for QCL is just one example of RPO’s commitment to innovation,” said Dane Hileman, president of RPO.
RPO has successfully designed the lens, as well as test materials and coatings for damage threshold. By the end of Phase 1, a working prototype was produced and provided to the U.S. Air Force for testing.
"We had great results with the prototype,” said George Lindberg, RPO’s glass materials manager and principal investigator on the project.
Potential applications range from military systems to spectroscopy, including medical, scientific, research, security and pollution monitoring.
The STTR program expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation R&D arena. The program is focused on the expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions.
RPO is a developer of glass, plastic, crystal and IR optics for customers in defense, commercial and industrial markets.