Research into Switchable Optical Filter Technologies

Research into Switchable Optical Filter Technologies

Novel, switchable optical filters are required for spectral imaging applications.

Reference number:

Deadline date:18/12/2012

This deadline is for… Deadline for Expression of Interest

Contract value:£10,000 – £113,000

Location where the contract is to be carried out: South West SOUTH WEST (ENGLAND),

Is this suitable for smaller suppliers? Yes

Is this contract suitable for a voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations? No

Name of the buying organisation: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory


Description of the contract

Novel, switchable optical filters are required for spectral imaging applications. Switchable technology is desirable so that the absorption or reflection characteristics of the filter can be quickly switched from a highly transmissive broadband open state to a blocking state, which selectively reflects or attenuates wavebands of interest. Several example technologies have characteristics that suit the above filtering scheme; Chiral Nematic or Guest-Host liquid crystal devices are two examples of technologies with desirable characteristics. Either could be used to provide an initial highly transmissive open state, which could then be switched to an attenuating or reflecting state through the application or removal of an electric field. Other technologies with similar performance characteristics are equally of interest. Although there are numerous materials and devices available commercially or described in the relevant literature, these are limited in their application against the current requirement due to their open state optical losses or their limited blocking capability. Further research and optimisation activities are therefore needed to identify suitable materials and approaches to satisfy current requirements. This extra-mural-research is aimed at funding the most appropriate UK research provider to undertake prototype filter development to the specifications as set out by Dstl. The research is to be split into the following phases: • Phase 1 (Identification) – Literature survey, material down-selection and prototype device design for the most appropriate candidates to meet the given specifications. Identification of equipment and consumables needed for device build. • Phase 2 (Optimisation) – Following the Dstl selection of the most appropriate candidate technology or technologies, this phase is to cover iterative materials optimisation and optical testing of prototype devices to meet the given specifications. • Phase 3 (Delivery) – At a pre-defined point in the research the best performing materials are to be placed in an agreed device and delivered for optical testing at Dstl.



Classification of the contract

38623000 Optical filters


Additional information

Contract type: Services – 8

Is it a framework agreement? No

Is this contract related to a programme of funding? No

Contract will be awarded based on: Most economically advantageous tender in terms of: The criteria stated in the contract documents

Estimated length of contract: 01/02/2013 – 31/01/2014


Who to contact

Contact name Nosheen Aftab

Organisation name Defence Science & Technology Laboratory

Address Commercial services G02 – iSAT D, Bldg 005, Porton Down, Salisbury, SP4 0JQ

Telephone 01980658287

Extension number:


Web address


How to apply

The contracting authority considers that this contract may be suitable for economic operators that are small or medium enterprises (SMEs). However, any selection of tenderers will be based solely on the criteria set out for the procurement, and the contract will be awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender.

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