October 15, 2018 – Danville, VA (Monday, October 15, 2018) – IRflex Corporation announced today that the company has been awarded a 2018 Department of Defense (DOD) Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award to team up with University of New Mexico to develop Lasers Based on Gas or Liquid Filled Hollow-Core Photonic Crystal Fibers (HCPCF).
Mid-IR generation in hollow-core photonic crystal fiber offers a potential means to mitigate the drawbacks of current pulse and continuous wave mid-IR laser sources, which rely on near IR lasers to pump a bulk nonlinear optical material that requires angle or temperature tuning to generate the desired wavelength. Current systems are mechanically complex, require free space optical alignment, and are fairly huge in size. In addition, material selection for efficient nonlinear generation of Mid-IR wavelengths and the ability to create higher peak powers are limited.
HCPCF offers a unique hybridization of fiber optic technology and gas/liquid laser technology, which can enable efficient sources of mid-IR laser emission with great flexibility in emission wavelength in a compact, mechanically-robust design. This allows the new laser system to minimize the number of free space optics, without gas containment cells, and have the potential to operate over a wider range of temperatures with greater power emission.
The program will benefit from IRflex’s hollow-core photonic crystal fiber (HCPCF) using chalcogenide glass with University of New Mexico’s patented gas-filled fiber laser technology for applications such as LADAR seekers, target illuminators, designators, target trackers, infrared counter measures, and standoff chem-bio detection.
“Since later 2016, considerable work has already been accomplished here in IRflex to develop the hollow-core fiber using our chalcogenide glass to target CO2 laser market. IRflex is pleased to be working with the DOD and University of New Mexico on this project. Although our Mid-IR fiber technology currently delivers on a variety of applications across multiple markets, we see this project as yet another opportunity to advance our on-going project and open up the CO2 commercial market segments to IRflex Corporation, which is very important to the company growth.” Says company CEO, Dr. Francois Chenard.