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Navy Awards SMI a Phase I SBIR Contract for Electro-Optic Phase Modulators

Wednesday, June 6, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Structured Materials Industries (SMI; Piscataway, NJ) was awarded a United States Navy Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to develop electro-optic phase modulators for enhancing naval navigation systems. SMI is partnered with Michigan Technological University (MTU; Houghton, MI) to advance electro-optic phase modulator technology through improving accuracy, energy consumption, and durability. In this six month project, SMI, along with MTU, will develop and fabricate select materials using MOCVD processes to grow phase modulator structures as well as demonstrate the operating material's performance benefits.

The primary material of focus will be lithium niobate (LiNbO3). On selecting the material, principal investigator and SMI research scientist Nick M. Sbrockey said, "LiNbO3 has a high electro optical coefficient and outstanding transparency in the visible and near infrared; which makes it an optimal material for electro optics device development. LiNbO3 devices have been severely underutilized due to structural fabrication limitations that hinder technology innovation. We will advance LiNbO3 material structural properties in our Phase I effort with MTU by drawing upon our existing technology and utilizing in-house resources."

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