This Challenge is seeking next-generation optical materials for use in long range spectral analysis. That is, new materials that can be used as optical apertures in the 3-12 micron band/spectrum. A fuller range of 0.5 to 14 microns would be the “ideal solution”.
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, rationale, and a test sample (preferred) or evidence that a test sample can be produced with the appropriate properties in the foreseeable future.
Optical nano-materials are a hot item in research today. It is the hopes of many to be able to state the properties needed and then predict and produce the material that will fit the application using nano-materials. Current optical nano-materials are fairly low in terms of current Technology Readiness Level (TRL estimated to be at the 2/3 approaching 4).
The Seeker desires new materials that can be brought to higher TRL through improvements and maturation that can transmit in the 3-12 micron spectrum. The ultimate goal of this Challenge is to identify candidates and obtain samples (now and /or in the near future) that can meet the requirements and help bring those to higher TRL levels by partnering/supporting Solvers in their work.
Note: Although we specifically mention optical nano-materials as a potential solution, it is not a requirement of this Challenge to use them. Solvers can use any new materials that meet the requirements; however, known, well established, window materials that are unmodified will not be considered a solution. (for example sapphire, diamond, ZnS, ZnSe).
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on July 23, 2019.