United States Air Force awards Phase I SBIR contract to nGimat for developing nanoengineered ceramic materials for high power lasers

April 1, 2009 – The United States Air Force has awarded nGimat Co. with a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop ceramic laser hosts for high power laser applications. These ceramic hosts will be made with nanoengineered materials synthesized using nGimat’s proprietary NanoSpraySM Combustion technology.

In order to improve the performance of conventional YAG-based lasers systems, the US Air Force is looking to develop alternative materials with high thermal conductivity and high absorption cross sections at the laser pump wavelength. Also, by utilizing technologies that are commercially viable, it is desirable to fabricate these alternative materials into highly transparent solids similar to single-crystals.

For the Phase I effort, nGimat plans to use its versatile NanoSpraySM Combustion technique to make ceramic nanopowders of rare-earth oxides that could then efficiently be converted into highly transparent solids. By engineering the nanopowders, nGimat scientists and engineers will be able tailor the thermal, mechanical and optical properties of these solids to meet Air Force requirements. Potential applications of these ceramic laser hosts range from sensing and guiding systems for the military to medical and surgical tools for the commercial sector.

Through its core technology of NanoSpraySM Combustion Processing, nGimat is a cost-effective manufacturer and innovator of nanoEngineered MaterialsSM in the following areas: nanopowders, thin films and devices. The Company currently has a portfolio of 45 U.S. patents, 69 non-U.S. patents, and is processing about 60 patent applications.