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Electronically Switchable Bragg Gratings (ESBGs) Foster-Miller, Inc. Waltham, MA. Innovation Electrically controlled diffractive optical elements based on a novel polymer/liquid crystal microdroplet composite were developed for programmable optical interconnects and switchable focus lenses.

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Electronically Switchable Bragg Gratings (ESBGs) Foster-Miller, Inc. Waltham, MA


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  1. Electronically Switchable Bragg Gratings (ESBGs) Foster-Miller, Inc.Waltham, MA Innovation Electrically controlled diffractive optical elements based on a novel polymer/liquid crystal microdroplet composite were developed for programmable optical interconnects and switchable focus lenses. • Accomplishments • Developed techniques for switchable diffractive lenses. • Demonstrated applications to reading multi-layer optical disks. • Showed reconfigurable interconnect optical architectures for high-speed parallel computation. • Developed holographic lithography and fabrication methods for ESBG lenses, electrodes and packages. • Due to nanoencapsulation, ESBG lenses switch in 50 µs, much faster than bulk liquid crystals. • Enables spectral imagers and other applications of diffractive optics to eliminate moving parts. • ESBG arrays are a new type of spatial light modulator for transforming laser beams into large numbers of reconfigurable states. • Commercialization • Promising applications in optical communication networks for cntrol of wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) systems. • Foster-Miller has invested $1M internally in patent costs, market research and IR&D to further develop ESBG telecomm products. • ESBG technology is targeted for Foster-Miller spin-off commercialization. Switchable drop filter concept for WDM networks using ESBGs • Government/Science Applications • U.S. Navy contracted for demonstration of spectral imager with no moving parts. • ESBG fiber optic switch components for WDM under consideration for Next Generation Internet (DARPA). Points of Contact: - NASA (Denise Swain; 256/544-8112) - Foster-Miller, Inc. (Dr. L. Domash; 781/684-4164) 1993 SBIR Phase 2; NAS8-40562 Marshall Space Flight Center Date of Update: 12/15/98 Success Story #: 8-025