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Press Release

SMI Awarded SBIR Contract with Navy

Piscataway, NJ - May 29, 2018 - Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (“SMI”) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded, the United States Navy, a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research ("SBIR") contract to develop electro optic phase modulators for enhancing naval navigation systems. SMI is partnered with Michigan Technological University (“MTU”) to advance electro optic phase modulator technology through improving accuracy, energy consumption, and durability. In this six month project, SMI, along with MTU, will develop and fabricate select materials, using MOCVD processes, to grow phase modulator structures as well as demonstrate the operating material's performance benefits. 

The primary material of focus will be lithium niobate (“LiNbO3”). On selecting the material, Principal Investigator and SMI Research Scientist, Dr. Nick M. Sbrockey commented, "LiNbO3 has a high electro optical coefficient and outstanding transparency in the visible and near infrared; which makes it an optimal material for electro optics device development. LiNbO3 devices have been severely underutilized due to structural fabrication limitations that hinder technology innovation. We will advance LiNbO3 material structural properties in our Phase I effort with MTU by drawing upon our existing technology and utilizing in-house resources." 

The Phase I effort will use one of the in-house MOCVD reactors at the SMI facility for growing oxide materials. This particular MOCVD reactor is capable of operating up to 900°C in oxidizing environments. The SMI staff is well experienced with MOCVD systems as well as LiNbO3 material. SMI has developed MOCVD processes for LiNbO3 films on a variety of substrates - such as LiNbO3 and Al2O3 (sapphire) in the past. LiNbO3 films have been grown through thicknesses as 3.0 μm. 


"The MOCVD process will allow for excellent control of film uniformity, composition, and dopant levels which will help make the modulators more accurate.", remarked Dr. Sbrockey.

SMI MOCVD Reactor Assembly, MOCVD System, SMI MOCVD System Assemblies
Example of SMI built MOCVD reactor for oxide thin film material growth.
Doped LiNbO3, MOCVD Processes, LiNbO3, SMI Deposition Service
Example of SMI grown Doped LiNbO3 using the MOCVD Process.

"SMI looks forward to collaborating with MTU to address the needs of the United States Navy for highly precise inertial navigation systems in theater applications such as ballistic missile submarines.”, said Structured Materials Industries, Inc. President and CEO, Dr. Gary S. Tompa, further adding, “We are delighted that the United States Navy has recognized our oxide thin film material development capabilities and their applicability to defense applications. We will build upon our previous successes to develop advanced electro optic thin film materials, and the process technology for their integration into components for Navy navigation systems." 

In the past, SMI has worked on several different LiNbO3 funded research programs. 

About Structured Materials Industries, Inc.

Structured Materials Industries, Inc. has an extensive history in working with customer/partners to deliver results in SBIR/STTR and other awards. We can provide a support infrastructure for writing award winning proposals and provide the physical support infrastructure for carrying out awarded programs through completing customer innovations or calling on collaborators to fullfill innovations. We are always open to, in confidentially, exploring additional partnerships and collaborations. SMI has worked on various projects featuring Gallium Oxide (in addition to other oxides), TMDs, AlGaN, InGaN, BN, Graphene, CNTs, Nanowires, Compound Semiconductors, Oxides, Dielectrics, Ferroelectrics, Phase Change Chalcogenides, Fuel Cell Materials, Thin Film Batteries, Metals, and so on as well as has grown materials on a diverse set of substrates using in-house tools.

Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI), with over 60 fielded MOCVD tools and 10 MOCVD and ALD process demonstration tools in-house, has extensive result oriented experience in providing materials, hardware, and device assistance to other businesses as well as research and development organizations. SMI is a leading provider of thin film research and development MOCVD, PECVD, and ALD deposition systems for electronic, optical and electro-optic device fabrication, among other applications. We produce systems for research and production, in sizes ranging from stand-alone systems to high volume production tools. SMI also maintains an in-house applications laboratory, with facilities for materials characterization and device fabrication.

To take advantage of SMI material development or consulting services contact us today to get more information and quoted. SMI is also happy to participate in the development of proposals and budgetary quotations!

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