IRflex wins SBIR Phase I Project to develop anti-reflective surface for infrared optical fibers endfaces

On October 8, 2019, IRflex Corporation signed a contract with the Department of Defense after winning the Phase I project N192-067 proposal to develop an anti-reflective surface for use on bare and connectorized infrared fiber optical cable assembly endfaces.

The project requests that the anti-reflective surface should be realizable on non-silica optical fiber including indium fluoride, chalcogenide, tellurite, and ZBLAN. Fiber optic cables should be designed to assemble with SubMiniature Version A (SMA) 905 connectors and be compatible with short and mid-wave laser sources for the wavelength interest region of 1.5 to 5 micron. The fiber optic cable assembly must pass thermal, vibration, and humidity environmental testing. The end result of this project is an anti-reflective surface with an improved damage threshold for high power application that can be manufactured.

IRflex Corporation manufactures the mid-infrared fibers based on extra high purity chalcogenide glass, whose proprietary fiber technology and knowhow support the project to design, model, and demonstrate a proof of concept of anti-reflective surface for our mid-infrared optical fibers and cables.

IRflex wins NAVY SBIR 2019 Phase I award for Mid-Wave Infrared Polarization-Maintaining Single Mode Fiber

April 18, 2019 – Danville, VA, USA – IRflex Corporation announces that the company starts today the newly awarded NAVY SBIR Phase I project for Mid-Wave Infrared Polarization-Maintaining Single Mode Fiber.

Applications requiring linearly polarized light and the 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. In conventional fibers the polarization state is not preserved due to mechanical stress, temperature induced changes, fiber fabrication imperfections, and fiber bends. Commercially available silica PM-fibers cover the visible and near-infrared spectrum; these work by creating a strong birefringence across the core of the fiber, which is responsible for preserving the polarization state of launched light as long as the polarization is aligned with one of the birefringent axes.

Currently there is no commercially available PM-fiber solution for the MWIR region. A specialty fiber capable of high-power laser transmission (>10W cw) and preserving the polarization state of the input light with high polarization extinction ratio (~-30dB), high birefringence (~10-3) and with low propagation losses (<0.2dB/m) covering the MWIR wavelength spectrum is desired.

This Phase I project is to determine the feasibility of an initial design of a PM-fiber approach best suited for the MWIR spectral region. Evaluate the performance of the PM-fiber design by determining if wave guidance is achieved in the spectral window of 2um – 6um, the magnitude of the birefringence, and the attenuation loss is less than 0.2dB/m. Demonstrate fabrication proof of concept and identify the steps and approach needed to fabricate the fiber design. IRflex Corporation is looking forward to develop a prototype plan of this fiber to be carried into Phase II.