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Photonic Materials
January 26, 2012   
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New photonic materials and their advanced applications are at the center of a major project being carried out by scientists at the Military University of Technology.

The project is managed by Prof. Leszek Jaroszewicz, director of the university’s Institute of Technical Physics. The project aims to improve the competitiveness of the Polish economy by providing innovative solutions based on research in technical and chemical sciences, conducted by the Faculty of New Technologies and Chemistry.

The project is being carried out in four parallel research areas. The aim of the first is to obtain new liquid crystal compounds and develop mixtures and liquid crystal composites as well as to research their applications. The project also covers construction and work on the use of liquid crystals in adaptive optics components, high-speed electro-optical switches, filters, spatial light modulators as well as in optical fibers and in holographic and laser technology.

The second research area is the development of technology for new single crystals and inorganic glasses, especially oxides, including those containing quantum dots. The research focuses on composites containing ferroelectric single crystals and liquid crystals. Work is under way on technologies for new single oxide crystals, new inorganic glasses, including those containing rare earth and quantum dots, as well as composites containing organic and inorganic nanocrystals.

The third research area is the study of complex semiconductor structures and of the technology for obtaining these. The research involves the use of electromagnetic radiation in new-generation detectors. The research focuses on the theory of complex semiconductor structures, including those containing quantum dots, semiconductor structure modeling, and the technology for detecting this radiation.

The fourth research area involves the development of new quality materials for hydrogen storage.

As part of the project, research is also being conducted on optic fiber technology, but in terms of using optic fibers as sensors rather than for transmitting information. Especially promising in this context are microstructural fibers.

“We have already developed a spectacular solution that was used in a device launched by the Russians to Mars,” says Prof. Jaroszewicz. The device contains four positioning system cells so that it can sit evenly on the surface. A laser impulse is sent from a long distance that is reflected off the ground and returns to the device in four bundles, helping it land horizontally. This is a giant laser impulse that passes through the special liquid crystal developed by the WAT experts.

Tadeusz Belerski
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