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SBIR Phase I: Low-Cost, High-Power, Ultra-Low-Noise Lasers

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Morton Photonics Incorporated
3301 Velvet Valley Drive West Friendship, MD -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: SBIR Phase I: Low-Cost, High-Power, Ultra-Low-Noise Lasers
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1248442
Award Amount: $149,999.00


This Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) Phase I project will create a semiconductor-based laser with high power and the ultimate in low-noise performance besting all current semiconductor based lasers, and providing equivalent or better noise performance than the best fiber and solid-state lasers, which are more complex, less efficient, and much higher cost. The program will take advantage of Quantum Dot (QD) and advanced Multiple-Quantum-Well (MQW) active regions with novel device structures to create state-of-the-art high power, low alpha-factor gain chips; integrated with an innovative fiber Bragg grating (FBG) utilizing tailored dispersion characteristics to form an external cavity laser (ECL) with excellent stability, high output power and extremely low noise performance. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to significantly reduce the cost of systems requiring a high power, low noise laser, in applications including sensing, communications, imaging, and testing, promoting widespread deployments. Applications include many sensing systems; in the energy sector sensing stress in wind turbine blades and for safer oil and gas exploration, sensing harmful gases or molecules, and sensing stress and crack formation in vital infrastructure such as bridges, nuclear power stations, aircraft and ships. Applications in optical communications include free space communications for disaster recovery, advanced digital communication systems and back-hauling analog signals from base stations for wireless mobile internet systems. There are biophotonics applications for lasers at appropriate wavelengths to improve medical imaging. This program will provide a step forward in fundamental laser research, also providing a low-cost tool for spectroscopic experiments. The wide range of applications provides for a significant improvement in the quality of life, health, safety, and the environment for all US citizens. Producing the laser at 1/10 the cost of alternate technologies will create a major disruption in the market, taking market from existing products, and more importantly dramatically expanding the market place for system level applications.

Principal Investigator:

Paul A. Morton

Business Contact:

Paul A. Morton
Small Business Information at Submission:

Morton Photonics Incorporated
3301 Velvet Valley Drive West Friendship, MD 21794-9430

EIN/Tax ID: 550805049
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No