NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Energy Conversion and Power Electronics for Deep Space Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE:A new class of high Z nanocrystalline and textured oxide-based thermoelectric material

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NEI Corporation
201 Circle Drive N., Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08854-3723
(732) 868-3141

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Amit   Singhal
201 Circle Drive N., Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ  08854-3723
(732) 868-3141

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to develop high figure of merit (ZT) oxide-based thermoelectric materials. This will be accomplished by engineering a novel microstructure that will lead to reduced lattice thermal conductivity, a large Seebeck coefficient and high electronic conductivity. A new processing route to achieve the desired microstructure is proposed, which builds upon our core competency in nanomaterials synthesis and processing. The proposed oxide materials can be used at higher temperatures than currently available non-oxide based thermoelectrics. The Phase I effort, a collaboration with a leading thermoelectrics research group in the United States, will demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating a dense oxide leg with high ZT and conversion efficiency at elevated temperatures. Prototype thermoelectric devices using p- and n- oxide legs will be fabricated and tested, and efforts will be undertaken to transition the technology into the commercial arena, especially in industrial waste heat recovery.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Metal-based thermoelectric materials are currently used in RTGs in NASA spacecraft. The service life is fairly long since thermoelectric devices have no moving parts. Thermoelectric devices generate clean energy with high power density, and are easily scalable. The proposed program to develop novel oxide-based thermoelectric materials will enhance the capability of current RTGs, including allowing higher operating temperatures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
With the advent of thermoelectric coolers and heaters for consumer applications, thermoelectric devices now have the potential to be used in technologically challenging applications, such as recovering industrial waste heat and utilization of waste heat in automotives. These applications demand low cost and durable materials that can be used at high temperature and in the presence of oxidizing/reducing environment. The proposed program will address this market need.

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.

Thermoelectric Conversion

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19