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Diffractive Optics in the Infrared (DiOptIR) LDRD 67109 final report.

Description: This diffractive optical element (DOE) LDRD is divided into two tasks. In Task 1, we develop two new DOE technologies: (1) a broad wavelength band effective anti-reflection (AR) structure and (2) a design tool to encode dispersion and polarization information into a unique diffraction pattern. In Task 2, we model, design, and fabricate a subwavelength polarization splitter. The first technology is an anti-reflective (AR) layer that may be etched into the DOE surface. For many wavelengths of interest, transmissive silicon DOEs are ideal. However, a significant portion of light (30% from each surface) is lost due to Fresnel reflection. To address this issue, we investigate a subwavelength, surface relief structure that acts as an effective AR coating. The second DOE component technology in Task 1 is a design tool to determine the optimal DOE surface relief structure that can encode the light's degree of dispersion and polarization into a unique spatial pattern. Many signals of interest have unique spatial, temporal, spectral, and polarization signatures. The ability to disperse the signal into a unique diffraction pattern would result in improved signal detection sensitivity with a simultaneous reduction in false alarm. Task 2 of this LDRD project is to investigate the modeling, design, and fabrication of subwavelength birefringent devices for polarimetric spectral sensing and imaging applications. Polarimetric spectral sensing measures the spectrum of the light and polarization state of light at each wavelength simultaneously. The capability to obtain both polarization and spectral information can help develop target/object signature and identify the target/object for several applications in NP&MC and national security.
Date: October 1, 2005
Creator: Alford, Charles Fred; Vawter, Gregory Allen; Wendt, Joel Robert; Kemme, Shanalyn A.; Samora, Sally; Carter, Tony Ray et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LDRD final report on high power broadly tunable Mid-IR quantum cascade lasers for improved chemical species detection.

Description: The goal of our project was to examine a novel quantum cascade laser design that should inherently increase the output power of the laser while simultaneously providing a broad tuning range. Such a laser source enables multiple chemical species identification with a single laser and/or very broad frequency coverage with a small number of different lasers, thus reducing the size and cost of laser based chemical detection systems. In our design concept, the discrete states in quantum cascade lasers are replaced by minibands made of multiple closely spaced electron levels. To facilitate the arduous task of designing miniband-to-miniband quantum cascade lasers, we developed a program that works in conjunction with our existing modeling software to completely automate the design process. Laser designs were grown, characterized, and iterated. The details of the automated design program and the measurement results are summarized in this report.
Date: January 1, 2006
Creator: Wanke, Michael Clement; Hudgens, James J.; Fuller, Charles T.; Samora, Sally; Klem, John Frederick & Young, Erik W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Remotely Interrogated Passive Polarizing Dosimeter (RIPPeD).

Description: Conductive polymers have become an extremely useful class of materials for many optical applications. We have developed an electrochemical growth method for depositing highly conductive ({approx}100 S/cm) polypyrrole. Additionally, we have adapted advanced fabrication methods for use with the polypyrrole resulting in gratings with submicron features. This conductive polymer micro-wire grid provides an optical polarizer with unique properties. When the polymer is exposed to ionizing radiation, its conductivity is affected and the polarization properties of the device, specifically the extinction ratio, change in a corresponding manner. This change in polarization properties can be determined by optically interrogating the device, possibly from a remote location. The result is a passive radiation-sensitive sensor with very low optical visibility. The ability to interrogate the device from a safe standoff distance provides a device useful in potentially dangerous environments. Also, the passive nature of the device make it applicable in applications where external power is not available. We will review the polymer deposition, fabrication methods and device design and modeling. The characterization of the polymer's sensitivity to ionizing radiation and optical testing of infrared polarizers before and after irradiation will also be presented. These experimental results will highlight the usefulness of the conductive infrared polarizer to many security and monitoring applications.
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Kemme, Shanalyn A.; Buller, Daniel L.; Dirk, Shawn M.; Boye, Robert R.; Samora, Sally; Washburn, Cody M. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Arrayed resonant subwavelength gratings : LDRD 38618 final report.

Description: This report describes a passive, optical component called resonant subwavelength gratings (RSGs), which can be employed as one element in an RSG array. An RSG functions as an extremely narrow wavelength and angular band reflector, or mode selector. Theoretical studies predict that the infinite, laterally-extended RSG can reflect 100% of the resonant light while transmitting the balance of the other wavelengths. Experimental realization of these remarkable predictions has been impacted primarily by fabrication challenges. Even so, we will present large area (1.0mm) RSG reflectivity as high as 100.2%, normalized to deposited gold. Broad use of the RSG will only truly occur in an accessible micro-optical system. This program at Sandia is a normal incidence array configuration of RSGs where each array element resonates with a distinct wavelength to act as a dense array of wavelength- and mode-selective reflectors. Because of the array configuration, RSGs can be matched to an array of pixels, detectors, or chemical/biological cells for integrated optical sensing. Micro-optical system considerations impact the ideal, large area RSG performance by requiring finite extent devices and robust materials for the appropriate wavelength. Theoretical predictions and experimental measurements are presented that demonstrate the component response as a function of decreasing RSG aperture dimension and off-normal input angular incidence.
Date: November 1, 2003
Creator: Grotbeck, Carter L.; Kemme, Shanalyn A.; Wendt, Joel Robert; Warren, Mial E.; Samora, Sally; Carter, Tony Ray et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transmissive infrared frequency selective surfaces and infrared antennas : final report for LDRD 105749.

Description: Plasmonic structures open up new opportunities in photonic devices, sometimes offering an alternate method to perform a function and sometimes offering capabilities not possible with standard optics. In this LDRD we successfully demonstrated metal coatings on optical surfaces that do not adversely affect the transmission of those surfaces at the design frequency. This technology could be applied as an RF noise blocking layer across an optical aperture or as a method to apply an electric field to an active electro-optic device without affecting optical performance. We also demonstrated thin optical absorbers using similar patterned surfaces. These infrared optical antennas show promise as a method to improve performance in mercury cadmium telluride detectors. Furthermore, these structures could be coupled with other components to lead to direct rectification of infrared radiation. This possibility leads to a new method for infrared detection and energy harvesting of infrared radiation.
Date: September 1, 2009
Creator: Wendt, Joel Robert; Hadley, G. Ronald; Samora, Sally; Loui, Hung; Cruz-Cabrera, Alvaro Augusto; Davids, Paul et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Micropolarizing device for long wavelength infrared polarization imaging.

Description: The goal of this project is to fabricate a four-state pixelated subwavelength optical device that enables mid-wave infrared (MWIR) or long-wave infrared (LWIR) snapshot polarimetric imaging. The polarization information can help to classify imaged materials and identify objects of interest for numerous remote sensing and military applications. While traditional, sequential polarimetric imaging produces scenes with polarization information through a series of assembled images, snapshot polarimetric imaging collects the spatial distribution of all four Stokes parameters simultaneously. In this way any noise due to scene movement from one frame to the next is eliminated. We fabricated several arrays of subwavelength components for MWIR polarization imaging applications. Each pixel unit of the array consists of four elements. These elements are micropolarizers with three or four different polarizing axis orientations. The fourth element sometimes has a micro birefringent waveplate on the top of one of the micropolarizers. The linear micropolarizers were fabricated by patterning nano-scale metallic grids on a transparent substrate. A large area birefringent waveplate was fabricated by deeply etching a subwavelength structure into a dielectric substrate. The principle of making linear micropolarizers for long wavelengths is based upon strong anisotropic absorption of light in the nano-metallic grid structures. The nano-metallic grid structures are patterned with different orientations; therefore, the micropolarizers have different polarization axes. The birefringent waveplate is a deeply etched dielectric one-dimensional subwavelength grating; therefore two orthogonally polarized waves have different phase delays. Finally, in this project, we investigated the near field and diffractive effects of the subwavelength element apertures upon detection. The fabricated pixelated polarizers had a measured extinction ratios larger than 100:1 for pixel sizes in the order of 15 {micro}m by 15 {micro}m that exceed by 7 times previously reported devices. The fabricated birefringent diffractive waveplates had a total variation of phase delay rms of 9.41 degrees ...
Date: November 1, 2006
Creator: Wendt, Joel Robert; Carter, Tony Ray; Samora, Sally; Cruz-Cabrera, Alvaro Augusto; Vawter, Gregory Allen; Kemme, Shanalyn A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LDRD final report on continuous wave intersubband terahertz sources.

Description: There is a general lack of compact electromagnetic radiation sources between 1 and 10 terahertz (THz). This a challenging spectral region lying between optical devices at high frequencies and electronic devices at low frequencies. While technologically very underdeveloped the THz region has the promise to be of significant technological importance, yet demonstrating its relevance has proven difficult due to the immaturity of the area. While the last decade has seen much experimental work in ultra-short pulsed terahertz sources, many applications will require continuous wave (cw) sources, which are just beginning to demonstrate adequate performance for application use. In this project, we proposed examination of two potential THz sources based on intersubband semiconductor transitions, which were as yet unproven. In particular we wished to explore quantum cascade lasers based sources and electronic based harmonic generators. Shortly after the beginning of the project, we shifted our emphasis to the quantum cascade lasers due to two events; the publication of the first THz quantum cascade laser by another group thereby proving feasibility, and the temporary shut down of the UC Santa Barbara free-electron lasers which were to be used as the pump source for the harmonic generation. The development efforts focused on two separate cascade laser thrusts. The ultimate goal of the first thrust was for a quantum cascade laser to simultaneously emit two mid-infrared frequencies differing by a few THz and to use these to pump a non-linear optical material to generate THz radiation via parametric interactions in a specifically engineered intersubband transition. While the final goal was not realized by the end of the project, many of the completed steps leading to the goal will be described in the report. The second thrust was to develop direct THz QC lasers operating at terahertz frequencies. This is simpler than a mixing approach, ...
Date: February 1, 2005
Creator: Samora, Sally; Mangan, Michael A.; Foltynowicz, Robert J.; Young, Erik W.; Fuller, Charles T.; Stephenson, Larry L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integrated optical systems for excitation delivery and broadband detection in micro-fluidic electrochromatography

Description: The authors have designed and assembled two generations of integrated micro-optical systems that deliver pump light and detect broadband laser-induced fluorescence in micro-fluidic chemical separation systems employing electrochromatography. The goal is to maintain the sensitivity attainable with larger, tabletop machines while decreasing package size and increasing throughput (by decreasing the required chemical volume). One type of micro-optical system uses vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) as the excitation source. Light from the VCSELs is relayed with four-level surface relief diffractive optical elements (DOEs) and delivered to the chemical volume through substrate-mode propagation. Indirect fluorescence from dye-quenched chemical species is collected and collimated with a high numerical aperture DOE. A filter blocks the excitation wavelength, and the resulting signal is detected as the chemical separation proceeds. Variations of this original design include changing the combination of reflective and transmissive DOEs and optimizing the high numerical aperture DOE with a rotationally symmetric iterative discrete on-axis algorithm. The authors will discuss the results of these implemented optimizations.
Date: March 15, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integrated Micro-Optical Fluorescence Detection System for Microfluidic Electrochromatography

Description: The authors describe the design and microfabrication of an extremely compact optical system as a key element in an integrated capillary-channel electrochromatograph with laser induced fluorescence detection. The optical design uses substrate-mode propagation within the fused silica substrate. The optical system includes a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) array, two high performance microlenses and a commercial photodetector. The microlenses are multilevel diffractive optics patterned by electron beam lithography and etched by reactive ion etching in fused silica. Two generations of optical subsystems are described. The first generation design is integrated directly onto the capillary channel-containing substrate with a 6 mm separation between the VCSEL and photodetector. The second generation design separates the optical system onto its own module and the source to detector length is further compressed to 3.5 mm. The systems are designed for indirect fluorescence detection using infrared dyes. The first generation design has been tested with a 750 nm VCSEL exciting a 10{sup -4} M solution of CY-7 dye. The observed signal-to-noise ratio of better than 100:1 demonstrates that the background signal from scattered pump light is low despite the compact size of the optical system and meets the system sensitivity requirements.
Date: September 16, 1999
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nanostructured Materials Integrated in Microfabricated Optical Devices

Description: This project combined nanocomposite materials with microfabricated optical device structures for the development of microsensor arrays. For the nanocomposite materials we have designed, developed, and characterized self-assembling, organic/inorganic hybrid optical sensor materials that offer highly selective, sensitive, and reversible sensing capability with unique hierarchical nanoarchitecture. Lipid bilayers and micellar polydiacetylene provided selective optical response towards metal ions (Pb(II), Hg(II)), a lectin protein (Concanavalin A), temperature, and organic solvent vapor. These materials formed as composites in silica sol-gels to impart physical protection of the self-assembled structures, provide a means for thin film surface coatings, and allow facile transport of analytes. The microoptical devices were designed and prepared with two- and four-level diffraction gratings coupled with conformal gold coatings on fused silica. The structure created a number of light reflections that illuminated multiple spots along the silica surface. These points of illumination would act as the excitation light for the fluorescence response of the sensor materials. Finally, we demonstrate an integrated device using the two-level diffraction grating coupled with the polydiacetylene/silica material.
Date: December 1, 2002
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department