IRflex Corporation, has been awarded a United States NAVAIR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contract entitled “Mid-Wave Infrared Polarization-Maintaining Single Mode Fiber”. After successfully competing Phase I and Phase I Option contracts, IRflex Corporation was awarded Phase II contract with the same title. The objective is to develop single mode polarization-maintaining fiber (PM-fiber) that covers the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) wavelengths from 2mm – 6mm for applications that require a high polarization extinction ratio at the fiber output and is able to waveguide tens of watts of optical power through the fiber.
Applications requiring linearly polarized light and flexibility of fiber delivery in the MWIR region will require a fiber solution that preserve the polarization state of the launched light. Most infrared lasers are polarized. PM-fiber offers the capability of preserving the launched light polarization state as it propagates through the fiber. Commercially available silica PM-fibers cover the visible and near-infrared spectrum, currently there is no commercially available PM-fiber solution for the MWIR region.
Phase II: Develop an initial PM-fiber prototype. Perform characterization of the optical and mechanical performance of the PM-fiber. Compare experimental results to the expected specifications.
The Phase II contract will take place over the next twenty-four months. The ultimate deliverable will be the demonstration of infrared polarization-maintaining fiber. At that time, IRflex intends to pursue commercialization of the technology.