RESEARCH

 

Continual Innovation

Nanoptics, Inc. was founded in 1987 on the basis of research and innovation to create products for tomorrow’s needs. Since then, we have expanded our research efforts to a variety of fields to satisfy different ends. We have successfully earned several federal grants for our research efforts, and are continually seeking private and public funding to aid in the development of new products. Below is a brief description of some of ongoing projects.

Nanoptics, Inc. is creating a new scintillating material composition for the detection of neutrons and gamma rays. This research and development effort has been motivated by the importance of detecting enriched uranium if it is brought illegally into the USA by terrorists. This material emits neutrons and gamma rays which offer the only known effective way of identifying its presence. At the present time, there is a very limited ability to detect the material with the necessary sensitivity. Given that there is more than one thousand tons of the material distributed throughout more than thirty countries around the world, the illicit introduction of the material into the country represents the greatest threat to the security of the USA.

Nanoptics, Inc. has filed a number of patents which cover the new material compositions. The material and methods of its production permit the cost effective manufacture of large area detectors for the above purpose. Fast neutrons and thermal neutrons can be detected as well as gamma rays. The speed of response of the detectors is compatible with both passive and active interrogation of the containers of the special nuclear materials. Nanoptics, Inc. has established partnerships with key material and equipment developers to produce a prototype radiation portal monitor to demonstrate the sensitive detection of enriched uranium. Additional partners are needed with special expertise in different aspects of this effort.

Nanoptics, Inc. is developing new materials and processing methods for fabrication of special plastic materials using stereolithography. Sometimes called optical fabrication or photolithography, stereolithography is a technique which uses UV light and a photo-curable liquid solution to create polymeric parts. By using a specially designed mask, the light can be blocked to achieve specific dimensions and patterns.Our goal involves designing and implementing the hardware, software, chemical composition, and techniques to create very small features (~5 μm) over relatively large areas (up to ~60 cm2). We are able to do this using custom-manufactured parts in conjunction with commercially available equipment, as well as detailed automation software created in-house. A thorough investigation of candidate chemicals is paramount to achieve the required properties of the final products. The processing techniques, chemical compositions, and final products each hold their own potential and merits.

Image conduits are composed of many individual plastic optical fibers fused together.  Each fiber transmits a single pixel of the image.

Three general product areas are itemized below.


This product type is also known as image guide. Fiber bundles are generally flexible and usually composed of many thousands of long microfibers. These microfibers are arranged in a tight parallel array.  Fiber bundles are typically 20 cm to 100 cm in length and 0.5 mm to 2.0 mm in diameter.

This product type is generally rigid and inflexible.  Many thousands of microfibers are arrayed, but their lengths are very short.  Fiber optic plates are commonly coin sized, with a large surface area relative to their thickness. Fiber optic plates are typically 2 mm to 10 mm thick, with a surface area of 1 to 20 square centimeters.


Nanoptics, Inc. will produce unusual, one of a kind conduit, to meet your specific needs. Our engineers, designers, and technicians will work with your specifications to produce any fused fiber element required, regardless of shape or size. These products include image transmitting ribbons, cubes, or rods, made from many thousands of individual micro fibers.