Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.95K | Year: 2013
The US Army seeks novel engineered polymer nanomaterials with high conductivity and indices of refraction suitable for use in next generation of obscurant materials. In this program Nanotrons Corporation, in collaboration with Professor Zhiyong Gu at NSF Nanomanufacturing Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), proposes to develop a novel engineered conductive polymer nanomaterial based obscurant materials enabling to defeat threats in a broader range of the electromagnetic spectrum (EM). The new approach combines cutting-edge polymer nanomaterial synthesis and development at Nanotrons with the extensive engineering and nanomanufacturing technology within the UML team. The resultant high conductive polymer nanomaterial will exhibit excellent visible, infrared, and bi-spectral obscurant performance, easy deployment, and high packing density. Theses improved performances are attributed to the synergetic effects of the optimized shapes of polymer nanomaterial with the controlled layer dimensions and the intrinsic high electrical conductivity and refractive index of the selected polymer. The proposed engineered polymer nanomaterials will be produced economically and readily scaled-up for volume manufacturing. During Phase I we will deliver the prototype samples for Army"s evaluation. The scaling-up of conductive polymer nanomaterials and the novel ways to aerosolize will be conducted during Phase II.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.90K | Year: 2011
It is desirable to develop a low cost and flexible nano- and micro-pattern transferring technology to form 3D photonic and electric structures. Nanotrons Corporation, in collaboration with Professor Hongwei Sun at NSF Nanomanufacturing Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), proposes to fabricate lead salt based photonic crystal structures using a hybrid nanoimprinting mold in a vacuum-assisted selective nanoimprinting technique (VASNT) developed by at UML. This approach combines cutting-edge nanomaterial and manufacture and photonic device development at Nanotrons with the extensive experience in nanoimprinting development, nanomanufacturing, and simulation within the UML team. In Phase I, we will fabricate photonic crystal structures on the surface of the room temperature operated polycrystalline Infrared responsive coupler by using the proposed hybrid nanoimprinting mold and VASNT. This photonic crystal structures with resonant coupling which is turned to longer wavelengths will offer the significantly enhanced performance for longer wavelength detection. The proposed advance hybrid nanoimprinting mold and VASNT will offer highly durable nano- and micro-patterning for use in photonic device fabrication that can be economically scaled up for manufacturing.
Agency: Department of Homeland Security | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.98K | Year: 2011
Scintillators have been used in radiation detection applications including medical imaging, oil well drilling, and high energy physics experiments. The new security need for scintillators has changed the market dynamics from specialty niche to volume production. In this program, Nanotrons proposes a manufacturing method that potentially produces scintillator of very large size and high crystal quality at unprecedentedly low cost to meet the new demand. Our process is a novel simple process that grows large-size single crystal ingots by continuous solidification from a seed crystal without any moving parts. Due to the simplicity, the proposed process has salient advantages of large size and low cost. Without movements, the new process also prevents secondary nucleation and ensuring very low strain in the grown crystal. Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.92K | Year: 2011
NASA seeks new materials and systems for the mitigation of structural damage, and new concepts for the activation of healing mechanisms to improve structural durability and enhance safe operation of aerospace structural systems. Nanotrons Corporation proposes to develop advanced multifunctional carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites with built-in non-catalytic nanocompositeÂ?based self-healing microcapsules. The proposed self-healing approach integrates high performance functionalized carbon nanotube (CNT) nanofillers, reactive monomer solution, non-catalytic curing mechanism, and mass-production self-healing microcapsules. By uniformly dispersing these nanocomposite-based self-healing microcapsules throughout the CFRP composite matrix, self-healing multifunctional composite materials will be fabricated. The resulting materials should selectively repair the damaged areas at ambient conditions without catalysts. Nanotrons' proposed novel multifunctional CFRP composites could heal the damaged area over 90% of the original strength. Added benefits are that the addition of self-healing microcapsules will increase fracture toughness of the matrix polymer and the incorporated CNT nanofillers will improve electrical conductivity and EMI/RF shielding performance of the healed CFRP composites. These features are unattainable from existing systems. Nanotrons' proposed non-catalytic nanocomposite-based self-healing microcapsules embedded in multifunctional CFRP composites can be economically scaled up for manufacture. This Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of our proposed self-healing approach.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.93K | Year: 2011
In a recently completed NASA SBIR program, Agiltron and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a novel nanoporous UV anti-reflection coating technology for complex plastic optics. This coating is based on recent breakthroughs in self-assembled low index multilayer structures achieved at MIT, combined with Agiltron's mist coating processes. The UV AR coatings consisted of inter-connected oxide nanoparticles in the form of a 3D porous network. We successfully demonstrated this AR coating on a 3" by 3" PMMA plate and 1.25" diameter Fresnel lens with suppressed surface reflection below 1% in the UV range. The coating adhesion also passed standard optical surface cleaning procedures recommended by NASA. In this current SBIR program, Agiltron proposes to scale up the coating process to coat large scale PMMA Fresnel lens surfaces up to 0.25 meters in diameter in Phase I and 1 meter in diameter in Phase II. Agiltron will closely work with NASA to develop the evaluation process for coating uniformity and optical performance.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 599.93K | Year: 2011
In order to meet NASA's vision to develop sustainable and affordable solar system exploration strategies, NASA seeks advanced high-strength and high-toughness composite materials with the microcrack resistance at cryogenic temperatures. These materials must be suitable for use in fuel containment of liquid oxygen, hydrogen, and methane. The objective of this SBIR project is to develop advanced high microcrack-resistant composite cryotanks. In Phase I we successfully demonstrated the synthesis of functionalized graphene sheet (FGS) nanofillers in large scale, which exhibited significantly increased resin strength and toughness at both room and low temperatures, and reduced coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). The further investigation of nanocomposite formulation and composite processing can result in FGS-polymer nanocomposite based carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites with significantly enhanced microcrack resistance at cryogenic temperatures in ways it has never done before. The new nanocomposite based CFRP composite materials also provide additional advantages in forming an impermeable barrier to gas and liquid molecules ideal for fuel tanks. Nanotrons' proposed new multifunctional nanocomposite based CFRP composite cryotanks will replace the currently used aluminum-lithium cryotanks providing significant weight savings and can be economically manufactured.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.99K | Year: 2012
ABSTRACT: Landing skis and skids on both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft must withstand extreme operational and environmental conditions and maintain their structural integrity. Depending upon the aircraft Mission Design Series (MDS) and its mission, these conditions can include frequent high-impacts landings, sand/snow/dust abrasion, and constant fluid contact (leading to fluid intrusion). Nanotrons propose a low-cost fabrication process to produce a low-friction, impact-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and super-fluid repellent amphiphobic coating that can be applied to aircraft landing skis and skids. The coating is expected to maintain the desired properties under the extreme operational and environmental conditions. Building on the results obtained from the Phase I study, during Phase II we will carry out field studies/tests to correlate and validate the numerical performance data that we will achieve during Phase I with real Air Force application needs and performance requirements. BENEFIT: All military and commercial aircraft and vehicles with skis/skids would benefit from this coating technology. Research into very low friction water resistant skis would also have logical crossover into various marine areas. In addition, coatings with super-fluid repellent property can also provide tremendous value in textiles, construction materials, and automobile industries.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2012
ABSTRACT: The Air Force requires an advanced corrosion resistant coating system which significantly mitigates the destructive effect of oxygen, for military aerospace and infrastructure preservation applications. The proposed program will develop an advanced multifunctional hybrid corrosion resistant coating system by uniformly embedding self-healing nanoparticles into a superhydrophobic perfluoroalkylated phthalocyanine (PPC) based fluorinated polymer system. The proposed new corrosion resistant coating system is expected to exhibit extremely low energy surface, surface self-cleaning feature by photo-generated singlet oxygen, no electron loss by encapsulated metal regulation, minimal oxidative destruction due to less hydrocarbon bonding, self-healing functionality by incorporation of corrosion inhibitor loaded nanocontainers, long-term active corrosion resistance by robust coating component, and high film durability by incorporated temperature stable polymer. This advanced coating system will also provide improved insulation film formability and enhanced thermal stability and processability due to the proven polyurethane polymer system. The key innovation in this approach is the unique design and synthesis of superhydrophobic main anticorrosion coating resin, which is fluorinated polymer prepared by covalently bonding of PPC groups to the backbone of fluorinated polyurethane polymer, and the incorporation of self-healing mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs). The proposed advanced corrosion resistant coating system can be economically scaled up for volume manufacture. BENEFIT: The proposed high performance multifunctional hybrid corrosion resistant coating system will provide significantly increased corrosion resistance property and the lifetime of military aircrafts, thereby significantly reducing corrosion related operation and maintenance costs. The proposed corrosion resistant coating system can be applied to other military helicopter and rotorcraft, aircraft carriers, warships, armored vehicles, other land vehicles, and engineered structures where similar performance is needed. Also, the ability to form superhydrophobic coatings surfaces will have a huge effect on commercial applications such as anti-corrosion, antifouling, commercial marine structures/vessels, and automotive, commercial aircraft and vehicles, civilian infrastructure, and other consumer applications.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.94K | Year: 2010
Durable and aesthetically acceptable cool roof materials are critically necessary for the success of energy saving program. Currently used organic pigments in cool roof paints are too sensitive to UV light to endure long time exposure to strong sunlight. Elongation of the lifetime of organic pigments without sacrifice the pigment color will significantly accelerate the cool roof program in US.Waterborne clear TiO2/Acrylic nanocomposite paint protected organic pigment coated on aluminum will fulfill commercially viable high solar IR reflective, and architecturally acceptable cool roof coating.Waterborne clear UV protective TiO2/Acrylic nanocomposite was formulated. Effective UV protection effects were demonstrated. Nanotrons planned to optimize TiO2/Acrylic nanocomposite. Optimized nanocomposite formulation will be scaled up to commercially viable product for long lasting cool roof coating applications. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The success of this method will produce cool roof paint that can last for longtime.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.96K | Year: 2010
The need for pure water is a global challenge that encompasses manufacturing, home consumption and desalination. Current filtration technologies that are used to purify water are too energy intensive.Nanotrons proposes an innovative carbon nanotube based water filtration membrane technology that will drastically outperform all the conventional filtration membranes. This new category of carbon nanotubeenabled filtration membrane provides drastically increased purification flux output, resulting in substantial reduction in filter size and operation energy consumption. In Phase I, we have successfully demonstrated the feasibility of our solution-based fabrication technology for producing the carbon nanotube based filtration membranes. The success achieved during Phase I has paved the way for practical fabrication of this breakthrough water filtration membrane.In Phase II, we will test a feasible roll-to-roll mass production methodology for the filtration membranes, work with leading water filter producers such as Pall and Millipore to develop a prototype filtration cartridge, and evaluate its performance. At the end of the project, a prototype filtration cartridge with excellent performance will be demonstrated. The success of this Phase II will lay the foundation for the Phase III commercialization. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Success of this Phase II effort will pave the road for mass production and commercialization of these high performance carbon nanotube based filtration membranes through a roll-to-roll manufacture line. The adoption of this novel ultra-high flux carbon nanotube based filtration membrane will have profound impact on dozens of multi-billion industries, including water purification, medical, chemical, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and environmental remediation. Rapid growth of emerging opportunities will also result from successful development, such as miniaturized portable filtration/desalination devices for use by ships, aircraft and spacecraft crews and passengers, soldiers, recreational hikers and explorers.