Notice Type: Sources Sought Notice
Classification Code: A - Research & Development
Solicitation Number: FBO282-14
Industrial Partnerships & Commercialization
LLNL seeks a commercial partner for collaborative research and development of high power laser diode arrays. LLNL expertise and capabilities are available on an exclusive basis subject to DOE requirements and priorities, and subject to complementary research interests with LLNL.
LLNL has been involved in the development of high power laser diode arrays since 1990, with a focus on high brightness and extremely high array power for use as both laser pumps and direct diode applications. This work has included investigation of combining of laser diode beams as a means of increasing the brightness. LLNL has also been involved in the development of improved thermal management techniques for laser diode arrays, to enable higher-power and higher-temperature operation of these diode arrays.
Recent enhancements in the performance of precision micro-optics and heat-sinking technologies present an opportunity for further improvement of diode arrays with high power and high brightness. LLNL is seeking a commercial partner for collaborative research and development that can exploit these enhancements, leading to demonstration of prototype diode arrays with improved performance. This collaboration will focus on technologies for beam combining to enhance brightness, and for thermal management to enable scaling to higher output powers
Beam combining of the optical outputs from multiple semiconductor laser emitters is a technique that can provide significantly higher beam quality and hence brighter diode sources. Historically, the scalability of such beam combining has been limited by the quality of the micro-optics used to couple light into and out of the emitters. Misalignment of the micro-optics, associated with the tight dimensional tolerances required for efficient coupling, led to alignment losses that limited the ability to effectively combine the outputs of a large number of emitters. The advent of improved micro-optic coupling techniques provides new opportunities for mitigating this issue, and scaling beam-combined arrays to a greater number of elements.
A key limitation on the thermal management of diode arrays is the thermal conductivity of the submounts in direct contact with the semiconductor chips. Limited thermal conductivity results in higher thermal resistance and hence greater junction temperature rise, which limits the maximum diode power output power. The thermal conductivity of the submounts is typically limited due to restrictions on submount materials due to the need to achieve a low-stress bond between chip and submount. Recent advances in materials technology now enable much lower bonding stress with high conductivity submounts, which can significantly improve thermal management.
Effective beam combining of laser diode emitters will enable higher-power diode arrays with output beam quality near the diffraction limit. Due to the higher brightness of beam-combined arrays, their optical output can be used directly in many applications. This avoids the need for pumping a separate gain material, which reduces efficiency and adds cost, weight, and complexity to the overall laser system.
Improved thermal management enables diode arrays to operate at higher ambient temperatures, to operate with higher output power, and/or to operate with higher reliability at the same operating temperature.
Domestic production of Rare Earth Elements is critical to many existing and emerging U.S. industries and to the development of clean energy technologies. This CRADA will provide new tools that will enhance the U.S. ability to domestically produce the materials needed for these U.S. industries and domestic industrial applications. Furthermore, successful execution of this CRADA will provide the necessary capability to develop follow-on nuclear applications of
Diode arrays with high-brightness and high power find use in industrial materials processing and national security applications.
Areas for Respondent Feedback:
Note: THIS IS NOT A PROCUREMENT. Respondents to this opportunity must describe specific capabilities, attributes, and skills directly related to the following areas.
1. Company Name, address, telephone number, and website
2. The name, telephone number, email address of a point of contact
3. Description of corporate related experience, expertise, capabilities relevant to the commercial high power laser diode arrays market
5. Demonstrated ability to bring innovations to the market
7. Interest in performing and/or funding cooperative research at the LLNL
8. Sufficient resources and experience to accomplish deployment and commercialization
9. Relevance for LLNL's mission and economic development interests
10. Substantial manufacturing and operations presence in
1. Experience in working with Federal Government CRADA agreements
2. Knowledge of U.S. Federal Export Control rules and regulations.
Please provide your written statement within fourteen (14) days from the date this announcement is published to ensure consideration of your interest in LLNL's high power laser diode arrays technology collaborative research, development and business opportunity.
Please visit the IPO website at: "https://ipo.llnl.gov/ q=resources-industry-working_with_us"https://ipo.llnl.gov/ q=resources-industry-working_with_us for more information on working with LLNL and the industrial partnering and technology transfer process.
Responses should be submitted by
Business Development Executive
Business Development Associate
Attention: FBO 282-14
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