Novel Long-Wave Infrared Transparent Thermoset Polymers for Optical Components and Imaging Systems

Case ID:
UA19-204
Invention:

This invention is new polymeric materials with improved Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) transmission as demonstrated by IR spectroscopy and IR thermal imaging. A one mm thick polymer film demonstrated transmittance with an LWIR camera in the 7.5-13 micron regime. The polymer is a thermoset and can be fabricated into windows, lenses, and prisms using simple diamond polishing to create optical quality components.   

 

Background:
Optical technologies in the LWIR spectrum (7-14 microns) offer important advantages for high resolution thermal imaging in near, or complete darkness, which has been extensively utilized in the defense sector, but has significant potential in emerging consumer markets and transportation. Current transmissive materials used for IR imaging are based on inorganic materials, such as germanium (Ge), or chalcogenide glasses (ChG’s). The use of polymeric transmissive materials would offer numerous cost and processing advantages, but historically have suffered from inferior optical properties and low transparency in the LWIR spectrum. A major challenge in the design of LWIR transparent organic materials is the fact that nearly all organic molecules absorb in this spectral window which lies within the “IR fingerprint region.”  

 

Applications:

  • LWIR imaging system for navigation
  • Navigation systems for vehicles
  • Lenses for transmission of LWIR
  • Waveguides for transmission of LWIR

 

Advantages:

  • Inexpensive materials
  • Easy to process 
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Laura Silva
Sr. Licensing Manager, COS
The University of Arizona
lauras@tla.arizona.edu
Lead Inventor(s):
Dong-Chul Pyun
Robert Norwood
Tristan Kleine
Nicholas Lyons
Oliver Spires
Laura Anderson
Keywords: