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Blacksburg, VA, United States

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.84K | Year: 2014

All high power target facilities and accelerators, especially the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), require magnetic field sensors to measure magnetic fields in various magnets employed at these facilities as well as in cyclotrons. The currently used and/or commercially available sensors show only limited radiation resistance and in general require replacement every 3-4 months, resulting in, on average, two days per year of lost facility operation. Since a similar problem persists with other domestic and international accelerator facilities, the solution of such a problem will result in significant savings to both the scientific community and taxpayers MicroXact Inc. is developing a new type of fiber optic magnetic field sensor and instrumentation that will be small, sensitive, inexpensive and radiation resistant. Proposed sensors and instrumentation will work for years without the need for frequent replacement and/or recalibration. In Phase I MicroXact experimentally verified the feasibility of the proposed approach by fabricating 1st generation sensor prototype, assembling bread-board interrogation instrumentation and testing the sensor material in radiation environment. In Phase II the team of MicroXact, MSU, OSU, ORLN and TechOpp Consulting will develop and test stand-alone sensors and instruments. At the end of Phase II one set of interrogation instrument and calibrated sensor will be delivered to FRIB for actual use. After completion of Phase II MicroXact will commercialize the developed technology. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed solution is expected to meet or exceed all the requirements of FRIB and other facilities for radiation resistant magnetic field sensing. The proposed sensors are expected to function for years without the need for replacement or recalibration, thus saving US taxpayers and the scientific community significant sums (many $millions annually if counting all US accelerator and tokamak facilities) currently spent on magnetic field sensor replacements. Sensors and instruments developed on this program are expected to find multiple applications in magnetic field sensing for accelerator facilities, fusion reactors (ITER, etc.,), as well as NMR and MRI instruments where zero RF emission of such sensors is highly beneficial.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.92K | Year: 2011

Detecting and monitoring corrosion (e.g., galvanic, dissimilar metal contact, salt water induced, fresh water induced, etc.) and its related physical property degradations for 5XXX-series aluminum in harsh environments (high humidity and/or flooding, high temperatures, electromagnetic interference, etc) is calling for the development of a new type of NDE tool. MicroXact Inc. is proposing to develop such a system based on ultrasonic computer tomography approach. The proposed solution will provide two-dimensional mapping of densities and Young"s modulus of the device under test (DUT) with

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.65K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: The team of MicroXact, Inc., UCLA, UC Irvine and Carnegie Mellon University proposes to engineer revolutionary nonvolatile reconfigurable plasmonic gates for information processing on the basis of ultrafast plasmon-enhanced all-optical magnetization switching. This unique approach allows one to program any gate between several different states at very high modulation rates and low power consumption, thus allowing tremendous opportunities to engineer all-optical Field Programmable Gate Arrays. Gates modulation is nonvolatile and one can use the proposed solution to built reconfigurable memory arrays. The proposed reconfigurable gates, will enable optical information processing engines with unmatched speed, functionality, integration density and low power dissipation. Specifically to the Air Force, the proposed solution can provide integrated processing platforms for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, where the processing speed and integration density are critical. In Phase I the team fully validated the proposed approach by experimentally demonstrating optical magnetization switching at 100 times lower laser fluence to pulse duration ratio and predicted 10,000 fold enhancement in appropriate structures. In Phase II the team will experimentally demonstrate 10,000 fold enhancement of mentioned ratio in plasmonic nanostructures and will fabricate and demonstrate nonvolatile reconfigurable optical gate operating at 80GHz frequency. In Phase III MicroXact will commercialize the proposed technology. BENEFIT: The proposed nonvolatile reconfigurable optical gate technology can greatly benefit existing and emerging DoD missions, where fast processing of large volumes of data is needed (remote sensing, e.g., hyperspectral imaging etc.). Also, the all-optical ultrafast generation of strong, highly localized magnetic fields will find applications in chemical sensing (such as explosive detection, biological and chemical warfare agent detecting/identification, etc.). The proposed technology is expected to find commercial applications in next generation signal processors and FPGAs, magnetic memory, as well as material characterization systems. Unique performance characteristics of the proposed solution will ensure rapid commercialization of the proposed technology.

Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: National Institute of Standards and Technology | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.98K | Year: 2016

High density wafer scale cryogenic probing solution for testing at 4.5K temperatures or below is needed for testing and characterization of devices and circuits employing superconducting electronic components (such as used for quantum processing, high speed classical processing, magnetic field sensors, etc.) as well as for testing of various particle and light detectors for astronomy, aerospace, defense and homeland security applications. MicroXact Inc. will develop a semi-automated, closed cycle, wafer scale high density cryogenic probe station for testing at below 4.5K to 300K or higher. In Phase I MicroXact will finalize the performance specifications, will develop mechanical model and design, and will verify system performance via simulations.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.83K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: Thermoelectric (TE) devices already found a wide range of commercial, military and aerospace applications. However, at present commercially available TE devices typically offer limited heat to electricity conversion efficiencies, well below the fundamental thermodynamic limit, calling for the development of higher efficiency materials. The team of MicroXact Inc., Virginia Tech and Sundew Technologies Inc. is proposing to develop a revolutionary high efficiency thermoelectric material fabricated on completely new fabrication principles. The material comprises the three-dimensional"wells"of PbTe/PbSe superlattices fabricated by a conformal coating via Atomic layer Deposition (ALD) of macroporous silicon substrates. Such a material will provide ZT>2 at macroscopic thicknesses of the material, permitting 20% or more conversion efficiencies for 400K-600K temperature range. In Phase I of the project the thorough model of the proposed TE material will be developed, ALD deposition of PbTe and PbSe will be developed and demonstrated on plane Si wafers and macroporous silicon pore walls. In Phase II the team will fabricate the proposed material and device, and will demonstrate ZT>2 and conversion efficiencies exceeding 20%. After the Phase II MicroXact will commercialize the technology. BENEFIT: Due to predicted unmatched performance characteristics (high efficiency, small size/weight) and large volume-compatible, economically advantageous fabrication process the proposed thermoelectric materials and devices are expected to find a wide range of defense, scientific and commercial applications. Potential DoD applications of the proposed technology are spanning from power generation (higher efficiency jet engines, additional power sources for military satellites) to efficient cooling of infrared cameras in focal plane arrays and thermoelectric cooling of electronics and optoelectronics. In all these applications the incorporation of the proposed material will result in significant improvements of operational characteristics of mentioned components. Commercial applications include auto market (where thermoelectric materials are already being used for cooling seats and improving efficiency of engine), water coolers, and potentially power plants. The advantages of the proposed technology will provide the competitive advantage to MicroXact sufficient for successful market penetration. The proposed concept, when developed and commercialized, is expected to cause a significant impact on both the DoD missions and commercial applications.

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