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Nanoamorphous Carbon-Based Materials for Photonic Crystals


Background: NAC-enabled IR devices are very precise stable and have a variable center frequency and bandwidth that makes them suitable for a broad range of applications such as volatile agent detection demand control ventilation (DCV) systems and environmental monitoring. These devices consume 3-10 times less energy than existing sensors and their wide tuning capabilities allow for cost-effective design options-- two concerns that affect the bottom line. In the near future this invention will help create a family of IR devices suitable for a myriad of industrial safety medical commercial and Homeland Security applications not feasible today. Technology: The base technology for the IR emitters consists of a method to vapor deposited diamond-like carbon films that can incorporate very high levels of metal dopants that are codeposited with the nanoamorphous carbon (NAC). A direct result of this capability is the ability to change the conductivity of the materials by almost fourteen orders of magnitude through metal doping. These doped films are very efficient at turning electrical power into broadband blackbody infrared radiation with wall plug efficiencies 5-10 times larger than standard materials like silicon.A key improvement to the base technology is the use of photonic crystal methods to make a better IR emitter. Novel methods have been developed for patterning the NAC films so that a two-dimensional micron scale array can be made. By adjusting the periodicity of the array and the composition of the NAC a series of narrowband IR emitters can be made with almost arbitrary center wavelength and bandwidth. The resulting emitters have performance similar to that of a light emitting diode rather than just a blackbody emitter. Applications: 1) Compact low-power IR emitters; sensors 2) Demand control ventilation (DCV) systems in cars buildings and airplane cabins 3) High-accuracy volatile agent sensors environmental monitoring 4) Glucose measurements IP Status: Issued patent available for non-exclusive license


1) Wider spectral output fast response time little excess heat high efficiency narrow band emissions and long life. 2) Variable center frequency and bandwidth: Covers entire IR spectrum

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