Optical Cooling through Quantum Dot Anti-Stokes Upconversion
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-081
Topic Title: Optical Cooling through Quantum Dot Anti-Stokes Upconversion
Proposal No.: N181-081-1290
Firm: Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place
Pines Industrial Center
Rockledge, Florida 32955
Contact: Ryan Reeves
Phone: (321) 631-3550
Web Site: http://www.mainstream-engr.com
Abstract: Optical cooling is a unique and promising cooling method capable of cooling to cryogenic temperatures in the absence of moving parts, noise, or vibration. Only a laser is used to pump in light; a semiconducting material upconverts this energy to reject higher energy photons producing a net cooling effect. Optical cooling is contrasted by mechanical systems, such as Stirling cryocoolers which can be loud, prone to vibration, and rapidly decrease in efficiency with thermal lift. Optical cooling may also be able to scale to the thermal load as the cooling power is linearly proportional to the laser power. And unlike thermoelectric Peltier coolers, optical coolers may be able to achieve temperatures of < 10 K. Mainstream will overcome poor efficiencies of conventionally optical coolers by improving each of the components of the optical cooling device to improve the quantum yield, film integration, and emitted photon rejection. In Phase I, Mainstream will demonstrate the viability of optical cooling via quantum dot anti-Stokes upconversion to generate net cooling. In Phase II, the integration of the optical cooler with a specified device will be designed, fabricated, and tested leading to immediate commercialization.
Benefits: Cryogenic cooling devices are used for a variety of applications within the DoD including portable liquefaction of oxygen and nitrogen for medical applications, night vision sensors, and satellite IR cooling. Cryocooling is a growing field in the private sector as well that is required for a large number of advanced commercial technologies including superconducting coils, particle accelerators, low-temperature IR sensing, as well as liquefying oxygen and nitrogen for medical applications. All of these applications would benefit from an optical cooling device because it would reduce the size, weight, and power demands on vehicle, personnel, and spacecraft payloads that are already saturated.