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Piscataway, NJ, United States

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 Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2014

In this SBIR program, Structured Materials Industries, Inc. www.structuredmaterials.com (SMI) will develop infrared-transparent, electromagnetic shielding coatings that can be applied to electro-optic sensor windows and domes. The coatings will be based on films of indium nitride (InN), deposited by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). InN is a refractory material with known infrared transparency. InN can be readily alloy with gallium nitride (GaN) and/or aluminum nitride (AlN) to create a family of electrically conductive, infrared transparent coating materials. InN and these related group III nitride materials have already been extensively developed for electro-optic applications. The proposed MOCVD technology can deposit high quality group III nitride coatings, with very low stress and excellent uniformity on 3-dimensional substrates.


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 I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2014

In this SBIR program, Structured Materials Industries, Inc (SMI) and partners will develop an electrically conductive, optically transparent coating for attenuation of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). The proposed coating will be based on the wide bandgap semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN). GaN is transparent to radiation below its bandgap (Eg = 3.4 eV), and therefore an excellent candidate for optically transparent coatings in the 0.4µm to 5.0µm wavelength range. The electrical conductivity of GaN can be controlled over a wide range through modifications to the film composition or structure. GaN is also refractory and chemically stable, and should be resistant to salt spray, abrasion and solar radiation. The other key aspect of our technical approach is the use of metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) to deposit the AlGaN/GaN based EMI/RFI attenuation coatings. MOCVD provides for excellent control of film composition and doping profiles, as well as easy scale-up to large area substrates, which can be either planar or 3-dimensional.

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