Five years ago, when the materials scientist at the University of Arizona, Jeffrey Pyun, introduced his first generation of orange plastic lenses to optical scientist Robert Norwood, he replied, "This is not the '60s." No one wants orange glasses, man. "
In recent years, a Puyn-led team has developed the material and developed the next lens generation. The plastic, a sulfur-containing polymer forged from waste generated from refining fossil fuels, is particularly useful for lenses, windows, and other devices that emit infrared light or IR radiation that makes heat visible.
IR imaging technology already exists "Pyun, a professor at the Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry, directs the lab where the polymer was developed." For consumers and the transportation sector, the cost limits mass production of this technology. "[ThenewlensmaterialaccordingtoNorwoodaprofessoratJamesCUniversitycouldprovideconsumerswithaccesstoIRcamerasandsensordevices"WyantCollegeofOpticalSciences"PotentialconsumerapplicationsincludeeconomicalautonomousvehiclesandthermalimagersforsecurityorsecurityFireProtectionatHome
The new polymers are stronger and more temperature-stable than the first-generation sulfur plastic, which is permeable to mid-infrared wavelengths in 201
4. The new lenses are transparent to a wider spectral window and extend into the long-wave IR. They are much cheaper than that current industry standards for germanium-based lenses, an expensive, heavy, rare and toxic material.
] Because of the many disadvantages of germanium, Tristan Kleine, a PhD student in Puyn's laboratory and first author of the paper, identified a sulfur-based plastic as an attractive alternative. However, the production of IR transparent plastics is a delicate matter.
The components that produce useful optical properties, such as sulfur-sulfur bonds, also affect the strength and temperature resistance of the material. In addition, incorporation of additional organic molecules to increase material strength resulted in decreased transparency, as nearly all organic molecules absorb IR light, said Kleine Material. Picture credits: Mikayla Mace
To overcome this challenge, Kleine, in collaboration with chemistry student Meghan Talbot and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Dennis Lichtenberger, used computer simulations to design organic molecules that do not absorb IR and predict the transparency of candidate materials.
It could take years to test these materials in the lab, but we were able to significantly accelerate the design of new materials using this method, "said Kleine.
Germanium requires temperatures of more than 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit to melt and However, due to their chemical composition, the sulfur polymer lenses can be molded at a much lower temperature.
"A major advantage of these new sulfur based resins is the ability to easily process these materials at much lower temperatures than germanium into useful optical elements , z cameras or sensors, while still having good thermomechanical properties to prevent cracking or scratching, "said Pyun." This new material has ticked as many boxes as we previously could not. "
" Its reliability matches essentially optical polymers routinely used for spectacles ends, "added Norwood.
The team collaborates with Tech Launch together Arizona to turn the research into a viable technology.
"People shine like a Christmas tree on IR," Pyun said. "So, when we think about the Internet of Things and the man-machine interfaces, using IR sensors will be a really important way to capture human behavior and activities."
Researchers from the University of Delaware and Seoul National The University also contributed to the work that was published today in the journal Angewandte Chemie .
Better thermal imaging lens from waste sulfur
Tristan S. Kleine et al., Infrared Fingerprinting: A Molecular Design Approach to Long-Wavelength Infrared Transparency with Polymeric Materials, Angewandte Chemie (2019). DOI: 10.1002 / anie.201910856
University of Arizona
Use of computer-aided chemistry to produce cheaper infrared plastic lenses (2019, 29 October)
retrieved on October 30, 2019
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealings for the purpose of private learning or research, no
Part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is for informational purposes only.