Researchers at UCF have created a new type of composite optical element as well as methods for fabricating particles and fibers from the material, depending upon the application. Fabrication of the multi-scale composite optical particles/fibers is highly scalable using multi-component spun fibers drawn in parallel. Using a composition of amorphous and crystalline nano-scale components enables customized optical responses within the composite optical element. A rational design of scattering elements provides high scattering efficiency, with almost no absorption, and a well-defined polarimetric response. When incorporated into a display, super-scattering structures allow assembly in either a permanent orientation or field rotatable configuration via spraying. The optical element can depict 2D or 3D information on different types of surfaces: transparent or opaque, rigid or flexible, planar or non-planar (e.g., windshields, windows, handheld devices, and head mounted displays). The composite optical element has a variety of applications: optically enhancing paints and coatings; as reflective, transmissive, or scattering elements in optical displays; as whitening agents in dental applications; for thermal management of optical and infrared radiation; as components in other composite materials; as components for thermo-mechanical control and management; in optical or magnetic tags; and in optical microtags for authentication and security. It can also be used in non-woven fabrics and sprayed or painted onto different surfaces.
This novel, scalable process of multi-component spun fibers is utilized to create multi-scale composite, spherical, optical element particles. A nano-scale optical material feedstock, which results in a primary polymeric nanoparticle, is controllably structured and doped with secondary optical scattering elements. Comprised of amorphous and crystalline nano-scale components, the material enables customized optical responses within an optical apparatus along with the composite optical element.
- Conveys 3D, holographic information
- Can be applied to a variety of surfaces
- Can be assembled in the field if needed
- Mass producible
- Defense industry
- Components for thermo-mechanical control and management
- Thermal management of optical and infrared radiation
- Optical or magnetic tags
- Optical microtags for authentication and security
- Paints and coatings
- Whitening agents in dental applications
- Fabrics and materials
See related technology: 33148