Clemson University, in partnership with Rutgers University, was recently named a National Science Foundation Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (NSF I/UCRC). The purpose of an I/UCRC is to provide the means to leverage research and development (R&D) investments with multi-university centers renowned for their innovative research capabilities. Along with the storied legacy of industry-relevant ceramic and composite at Rutgers University, Clemson University brings to this new center its distinctive infrastructure and expertise in optical materials, particularly its strength in crystal growth, transparent ceramics, specialty glasses and optical fibers.
In particular, while the need for high energy lasers and optoelectronic materials and systems continues to expand, the United States has experienced two countervailing trends: the significant reduction in industry basic R&D investments and the decline in domestic academic expertise in the materials and devices critical for practical next-generation solid-state directed energy systems.
In order to remedy these present limitations and maintain U.S. leadership, Clemson is forming a Directed Energy Working Group within its NSF Industry/University Collaborative Research Center. This would be the only NSF center with a focus on directed energy materials (crystals, ceramics and optical fiber) and related structures as well as solid-state lasers.