Lake Shore to Receive Phase II Air Force Grant for Terahertz System Development

Jan22_LakeShoreLake Shore Cryotronics has announced that the Air Force intends to award the company a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant. This grant will aid Lake Shore as it continues to develop its 8500 series THz system for material characterization.

The awarding of the $750,000 grant speaks to the commercial viability of the platform as well as the strength of results derived from the Lake Shore’s Phase I STTR efforts, said Scott Yano, VP of Product Development at Lake Shore.

In early 2013, the Air Force awarded Lake Shore a Phase I grant to assist with the development of a system prototype. This latest funding will support application development for the THz system with the main development work performed on the prototype of the system installed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Ohio. Lake Shore will also be working with THz researchers at the University of Arizona to develop techniques to improve the integrity of the THz signal.

Lake Shore has made improvements to the THz spectrometer for increased stability of the platform. The first step in the Phase II effort will be to upgrade the alpha system currently installed in the WPAFB Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) with these improvements.

“This is a great opportunity to continue testing the system on a variety of materials and build the application base for the system,” Yano said. “The goal of these measurement efforts is to develop material property extraction algorithms that can be incorporated into the THz system software so customers can easily process their measurement data. The funding provided by this grant will allow us to accelerate development.”

Development efforts at Lake Shore are being led by Dr. David Daughton, the company’s principal THz investigator, as well as a core team of hardware and software developers. In parallel with this 2-year STTR program to enhance software analytics, Lake Shore will begin making the current 8500 THz platform commercially available in the spring of 2014 to leading-edge researchers who want an early start at uncovering novel properties of their materials using THz-based characterization.

The 8500 series THz system for material characterization offers the materials development community a complete solution for exploring THz-frequency electronic, magnetic, and chemical properties of materials in cryogenic and magnetic field environments. It uses non-destructive, non-contact THz energy for measurement and features a coherent, variable frequency continuous wave (CW) THz spectrometer and specially designed THz emitter and detector components for high spectral resolution measurements in these extreme environments.

The system includes a cryostat, magnet, temperature controller, and all of the THz hardware and software needed for a complete experimental platform. Plus, using it requires no special optics knowledge. All of the precise alignment and calibrations of the spectrometer components have already been done, so researchers can quickly insert samples in its sample holder, install the sample insert in the cooled cryostat, and begin taking measurements.

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