DOD Awards Tetramer Contract to Develop Low-Loss Optical Polymer Materials

Tetramer Technologies has won a Phase I SBIR DOD contract (N00014-14-P-1052) to develop new, commercially attractive, thermoplastic optical polymers that have ultra-low scattering losses for use in diffraction-limited optical lenses. The value proposition to the customer using Tetramer® optical polymers will be decreased scattering of light transmitted through the polymer lens, resulting in smaller Airy disks and improved Modulation Transfer Function in optical devices. Currently, the scattering loss found in commercial sources of optical polymers is unacceptably high to the detriment of the imaging capabilities of optical devices such as night vision goggles. The primary causes of scattering loss are extrinsic inclusions such as chemical and physical impurities. Due to the stringent processing required to remove these impurities, polymers with ultra-low scattering loss are not commercially available in reasonable quantities for optical device manufacture. Tetramer’s development and commercial supply of these materials will facilitate value-added high-end polymer lenses and optical components with improved imaging performance. At the conclusion of the Phase I program, Tetramer will have developed optimal methods to prepare optical polymers with scattering loss less than 0.5 dB/m at a 1 kg scale and analyzed quality/volume/cost tradeoffs for these processes. Subsequent efforts will increase scale up to 10 kg.