Thank you for visiting Norcon Technologies. We started the company to commercialize polymer-based infrared (IR) optical components that have a unique combination of focusing power, molding, and economic properties. Our polymeric chalcogenide (polycalc) IR optical components have the potential to enable the scaling of 3D sensing and environmental monitoring applications in ways that current IR optical components are not suited.
Demand for infrared sensing is soaring, intensifying pressure for performance and cost improvements on their underlying IR optical components. In the near infrared, or NIR (0.7 - 2.0 µm), the demand is from handheld 3D imagers and spectrometers; in the midwave IR, or MWIR (3 - 6 µm), it is from environmental monitoring in smart buildings and breath analysis in healthcare.
The components being used today, however, were developed in the 20th century, primarily for defense applications, and are being forced to fulfill expectations for which they were never intended. For example, glasses and polymers used in the NIR cannot be used to focus at close range or to image sufficiently broad areas. In the MWIR, the challenge is even worse. These MWIR optical components are currently made from elements such as selenium and arsenic, which are difficult to mold, costly, and toxic.
New polymer and component technologies are required for these growing IR sensing applications. Norcon was founded in 2017 to address this need. We take an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together optical, material, and chemical technologists who use leading edge computer-based design and analysis methodologies. It may have been possible to invent polymers such as such as polycarbonate for visible spectrum applications of the 20th century, but approaches like ours are essential for inventing polymer optics for the IR applications emerging today.
Our optical components are based on melting and molding the most abundant, inexpensive, and benign infrared optics element, sulfur, with conventional organic monomers. As sulfur is a chalcogen element, we refer to our components as polycalc optics. The IR components we have so far produced already demonstrate record results for transparency and focusing power. In addition, the costs and volumes we can achieve promise to be not just significantly superior to those of current IR components, but actually on par with those for visible spectrum components. Our mission is to engineer optical solutions that are “the polycarbonate optics of the IR.”