Piscataway, NJ, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

In this STTR program, Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI) and partners will develop a highly efficient noise cancelation system for military ground combat vehicles. Recent discoveries have shown that materials with very small heat capacity can show a high thermoacoustic effect, and therefore function as a highly efficient loudspeaker. While the theoretical basis for building a thermophone using low heat capacity materials was developed in the early 1900's, it was not until two dimensional materials such as graphene were isolated, that practical implementations of a thermophone could be realized. In Phase I, the STTR team will demonstrate graphene based thermoacoustic devices fabricated on flexible substrates. We will demonstrate the potential for the device to achieve sound pressures suitable for noise cancelation applications. We will also demonstrate the potential to manufacture graphene based thermoacoustic devices economically and at commercial scale. In Phase II, we will demonstrate graphene based thermoacoustic devices, fully integrated with control electronics into a prototype noise cancelation system. We will work with the Army or their designated representatives to demonstrate the prototype noise cancelation system in real or simulated environments in Phase II.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2014

In this STTR program, Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI) and partners will develop hardware and process technology to deposit uniform films of piezoelectric PbZrxTi1-xO3, on substrates with complex 3-dimensional topography. Piezoelectric PbZrxTi1-xO3 films are a critical technology for advanced Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS), to provide low power actuation in nanoscale devices. Our technical approach is based on atomic layer deposition (ALD), which can achieve the required uniform film deposition over the extreme topography of advanced MEMS. The successful conclusion of this work will enable the development of micro robotic devices, for future biomedical, imaging and communication applications.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2016

High performance computing networks (HPC) require very high data transmission rates with large bandwidth. Fiber optic networks can meet the data transmission and bandwidth requirements. However, new component technology is needed to provide the interface to computer logic and memory systems, with are primarily silicon based electronics. Direct bandgap III-V semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) have excellent photonic properties, but are not easily integrated with silicon based microelectronics and fabrication techniques.This SBIR project will develop and demonstrate photonic components based on silicon- germanium-tin (SnGeSi). SnGeSi can be readily integrated with silicon microelectronics at the chip level, very similar to existing technology for SiGe. The addition of Sn induces a direct bandgap in this material, and enables high performance photonic devices based on SnGeSi. In Phase I, the SBIR/STTR team will demonstrate silicon compatible fabrication technology for SnGeSi based photonic devices. Phase I will demonstrate epitaxial thin film deposition of SnGeSi on silicon substrates by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The Phase I project will also fabricate and demonstrate infrared emitter and detector devices, which are the fundamental building blocks for photonic components. Modeling and computational techniques for SnGeSi based devices will be established in Phase I, as well as the pathway forward to SnGeSi photonic component prototype demonstration in Phase II. The successful conclusion of this SBIR program will result in a new generation of silicon based photonic devices, which will enable computers to exchange data at high transmission rates over fiber optic networks. The resulting high performance computing networks will enable advanced computational work in commercial, scientific and military applications. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: High performance computing networks are essential for processing, storing and analyzing vast amounts of data for commercial, scientific and military applications. High performance networks in scientific applications provide scientists remote access to instruments and facilities, while also allowing citizens access to the data and knowledge that has been produced. The full integration of silicon logic and memory devices with photonic networks will enable the long awaited dawn of the next generation in semiconductor electronics and photonics on one common platform; revolutionizing a multi-billion dollar industry.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: In order to lower the weight in aircraft that is associated with wiring; there are few choices: (i) superconducting wires could be used; but would seem effective only for high currents; (ii) new materials could be developed using exotic electronic principles, which have strong merit; or (iii) known materials can be used in clever ways. We herein propose to develop the latter use materials that are clearly known to produce a conductivity/mass well greater than Cu or Al, operate cooler, and also allow the merging of conducting wire with fiber optics ultimately through relatively simple mechanical spooling. We will specifically target current wires through to 20Amps and that meet military specifications performance parameters. In Phase I SMI will demonstrate proof of concept, refine scaling approach, and deliver material samples made. Phase II will address fabrication of scaled wires. Phase III will address product production. The result will be superior current/mass ratio for USA military and commercial needs. BENEFIT: Lowering the weight on aircraft increases their maneuverability, their range, and or their delivery capacity. Reducing component dimensions allows for craft size reduction or more diversified payloads. The benefit will be the opportunity to build and operate aircraft superior to heavier aircraft


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2014

In this STTR program, Structured Materials Industries (SMI) and partners propose to develop an electrically contacted zinc magnesium oxide (ZnMgO) nanowire array for highly efficient UV focal plane arrays. The properties of ZnMgO make it a very promising material for optoelectronic devices. In particular, the wide bandgap (3.37 eV) and large exciton binding energy (60 meV), and the ability to fabricate stable, uniform ZnMgO nanowires make the material attractive as a sensor material.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 600.00K | Year: 2016

In this SBIR program, Structured Materials Industries, Inc. www.structuredmaterials.com (SMI) is developing infrared-transparent, electromagnetic shield coatings which can be applied to electro-optic sensor windows and domes. The coatings will be deposited by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), which can deposit high quality films with very low stress and excellent uniformity on 3-dimensional substrates. Phase I demonstrated technical feasibility of developing coating materials with high electrical conductivity and good infrared transparency in the 3 micron to 5 micron wavelength range. Phase II will further optimize the coating properties, and demonstrate coating performance in the operational environment.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

In this SBIR Program, Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI) and partners are developing ultraviolet (UV) photodetection devices with high sensitivity, low noise and fast response time. The technical approach is based on nanowires of the wide bandgap semiconductor ZnMgO. The resulting devices will be blind to solar radiation, and have a tunable cut-off frequency which can be adjusted by the Mg content. The resulting photodetection devices will also be low-cost, and compatible with a wide range of device materials, including silicon substrates and silicon integrated circuitry. During Phase I, the SBIR team demonstrated technical feasibility of a simple process for fabricating the photodetectors from vertically aligned arrays of nanowires. These Phase I achievements enable low cost production of nanowire based photodetection devices, using standard microelectronic techniques. The Phase I results will ultimately enable high volume production of nanowire devices, on large area substrates, and enable integration with other microelectronic circuitry.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

The use of surface functionalized powders can improve both performance and economy of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). With this approach, the best characteristics of two different materials can be fully exploited, such as the excellent conductivity of the backbone oxide and the excellent stability and catalytic activity of the surface layer. Previous efforts to produce surface functionalized powders using segregation or infiltration processes were unreliable and difficult to implement in large scale. Statement of How this Problem or Situation is being Addressed: This SBIR project will demonstrate an alternative approach to produce surface functionalized powders based on fluidized bed technology. Fluidized bed processing is a well established technique, which is used in a variety of commercial applications. Structured Materials Industries (SMI) has developed a variation on this technology, known as Fluidized Bed Chemical Vapor Deposition (FBCVD). SMI is presently implementing and commercializing FBCVD technology as a scalable and economical process to deposit surface coatings on powder materials in large scale. What is to be Done in Phase I: In Phase I of this SBIR program, SMI will use existing capabilities to produce trial quantities of powders with a variety of coating thickness and compositions. SMI will partner with FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) in this SBIR program. FCE will process SMI's surface functionalized powders into cathode materials, and fabricate small scale fuel cell stacks for testing. The deliverables for Phase I will include the demonstrated feasibility of using FBCVD to produce surface functionalized powders for SOFC cathode materials, and an assessment of the technical and economical benefits for fuel cell implementation. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Fuel cells offer the potential for nearly a two fold increase in the efficiency of converting fossil fuels to useable electrical energy. In addition, fuel cells produce far fewer pollutants such as NOx, compared to conventional technologies for utilizing fossil fuels. The development of reliable and efficient fuel cells will reduce emission of green house gases and other pollutants, reduce consumption of fossil fuels, and reduce US dependence on imported oil. Key Words: SBIR Phase I, solid oxide fuel cells, cathodes, surface functionalized powders, fluidized beds, thin films, chemical vapor deposition Summary for Members of Congress: The successful conclusion of this SBIR program will result in fuel cells with greater efficiency, improved reliability and lower manufacturing costs. Reliable and economical fuel cells will provide nearly a two fold increase in the efficiency of converting fossil fuels to electrical energy, with a corresponding decrease in emission of pollutants and green house gases.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2016

The use of surface functionalized powders can improve both performance and economy of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). With this approach, the best characteristics of two different materials can be fully exploited, such as the excellent conductivity of the backbone oxide and the excellent stability and catalytic activity of the surface layer. Previous efforts to produce surface functionalized powders using segregation or infiltration processes were unreliable and difficult to implement in large scale. Statement of How this Problem or Situation is being Addressed: This SBIR project will demonstrate an alternative approach to produce surface functionalized powders based on fluidized bed technology. Fluidized bed processing is a well established technique, which is used in a variety of commercial applications. Structured Materials Industries (SMI) has developed a variation on this technology, known as Fluidized Bed Chemical Vapor Deposition (FBCVD). SMI is presently implementing and commercializing FBCVD technology as a scalable and economical process to deposit surface coatings on powder materials in large scale. What is to be Done in Phase I: In Phase I of this SBIR program, SMI will use existing capabilities to produce trial quantities of powders with a variety of coating thickness and compositions. SMI will partner with FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) in this SBIR program. FCE will process SMI's surface functionalized powders into cathode materials, and fabricate small scale fuel cell stacks for testing. The deliverables for Phase I will include the demonstrated feasibility of using FBCVD to produce surface functionalized powders for SOFC cathode materials, and an assessment of the technical and economical benefits for fuel cell implementation. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Fuel cells offer the potential for nearly a two fold increase in the efficiency of converting fossil fuels to useable electrical energy. In addition, fuel cells produce far fewer pollutants such as NOx, compared to conventional technologies for utilizing fossil fuels. The development of reliable and efficient fuel cells will reduce emission of green house gases and other pollutants, reduce consumption of fossil fuels, and reduce US dependence on imported oil.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.99K | Year: 2016

High power switching devices are needed for all manner of weapon and defense systems as well as commercial power intense applications. Monoclinic beta()-Ga2O3 is an attractive material for power devices and is in its infancy with respect to development. It has the advantage of having large area economical substrates for device production. We have multiple early stage fielded tools and an in-house tool growing -Ga2O3. This experience positions SMI to further develop the technology to best meet the needs of this solicitation. In Phase I, working with a University partner and two end users and through communications with the Navy, we will finalize the Phase II deposition tool design based upon existing experiences and Phase I material process demonstration efforts. Phase I will include using the in-house tool to test process enhancements planned for Phase II. In Phase II a prototype tool will be built compliant with semiconductor manufacturing standards, tested, and installed at a Navy designated location; whereat Navy personnel will also be trained and supported in operation. Provision will be left for prototype tool enhancements based upon operational feedback. In Phase III SMI will sell deposition systems directly or through license to larger semiconductor tool providers as appropriate.

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