LightPath Technologies, Inc. ("LightPath", the "Company" or "we"), a leading vertically integrated global manufacturer, distributor and integrator of proprietary optical and infrared components and high-level assemblies, today announced it has won a $200,000 sub-award from the National Science Foundation for a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research titled "Carbide bonded graphene coating for enhanced glass molding." LightPath is part of the research team led by the primary grantee of Nanomaterial Innovation Limited (NIL), a spin-off from The Ohio State University.
Graphene has emerged as one of the most intriguing materials for optical applications in recent years due to its natural properties possessing the highest strength and thermal conductivity known to man. Despite these outstanding properties, commercial applications are limited by the difficulty of scaling up graphene fabrication. However, a novel graphene-containing film deposition method developed at The Ohio State University/NIL could help to overcome this challenge and allow graphene to be utilized in a wide variety of applications including precision glass molding.
During Phase I, NIL showed that when used for mold release this graphene coating provided potential advantages for molding both visible and infrared glasses. As a recognized worldwide leader in the handling, production and commercialization of precision optical technologies, LightPath was invited to participate in the research program. Now in Phase II, LightPath joins NIL as an industrial partner and will use its experience in molding optics to apply this coating to a production environment.
Anticipated benefits include enhanced mold lifetimes, improved molding yields, and, therefore, reduced costs for both visible and infrared optics. The work will focus on molding both singlet lenses as well as multi-cavity optics. These optical components may be critical as an enabling factor for driving enhanced functionality and lower cost for end products used in military, public safety, medical, industrial, automotive markets.
About National Science Foundation (SBIR program):
The NSF Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program seeks to transform scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit by catalyzing private sector commercialization of technological innovations. The program increases the incentive and opportunity for startups and small businesses to undertake cutting-edge, high-quality scientific research and development.