NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Nanostructured Materials
PROPOSAL TITLE:Multifunctional, Nanostructured Metal Rubber Protective Films for Space Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NanoSonic, Inc.
1485 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060-5556
(540) 953-1785

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jennifer  H Lalli
1485 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA  24060-5556
(540) 953-1785

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NanoSonic has developed revolutionary nanostructured, yet macroscale, multifunctional Metal RubberTM films. In support of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, low cost Metal RubberTM freestanding or conformal skins are being optimized as protective coatings for human and robotic space exploration. Specifically, ultra-lightweight, nanostructured coatings with protection against electrostatic charging, abrasion and radiation over a wide range of mechanical and thermal fluctuations are offered. Metal RubberTM is fabricated via layer-by-layer, molecular self-assembly, which enables thickness and placement control over multiple constituents for true nanostructured multifunctionality (nm scale), although advanced polymers have allowed scale-up to free-standing thick films (several mm thick, at less than 1 g/cc). Metal RubberTM is not a conducting polymer or a sputter coated polymer film, rather a freestanding nanocomposite formed in situ, due to chemically reacting monolayers of nanosized components, eliminates residual stress between each component. Novel, ultra-low modulus Metal RubberTM can be strained to > 1000% elongation while remaining electrically conductive; and returns to its original shape and nominal conductivity when released. Bulk resistivity (as low as 10-5 Ω∙cm), shielding (up to -70dB), and mechanical moduli (0.1 MPa to 500 MPa) have been demonstrated. Metal RubberTM requires less than 1 vol% of metal, allowing the manufacturing a cost effective, advanced material.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications for Metal RubberTM include ultra-lightweight protective coatings against electrostatic charging, EMI, radiation, and abrasion. Low modulus Metal RubberTM can also function as conducting electrodes for high strain mechanical actuator and sensor devices, and as low-weight, electrically conductive and mechanically flexible coatings for systems requiring physically-robust electromagnetic shielding, ground planes or electrical interconnection.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential non-NASA specific applications for Metal RubberTM include lead-free material to replace conventional tin-lead solders for the mechanical, electrical and thermal interconnection of electronic and mechanical components. Such materials may also be used in high performance, highly flexible and mechanically robust electronic flex circuits, flexible displays and smart electronic fabrics.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Radiation Shielding Materials
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04