This invention is new polymeric materials with improved Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) transmission as demonstrated by IR spectroscopy and IR thermal imaging.

About

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.”

Key Benefits

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

Applications

Inexpensive materials
Easy to process

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