NASA STTR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 T8.01-9886
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Revolutionary (>30% Conversion Efficiency) Thermo-Electric Devices
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Volume Manufacturing of NanoEngineered High ZT Thermoelectrics for Multiple Energy Generation Applications

NAME: Structured Materials Industries, Inc. NAME: Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, NECTAR Center
STREET: 201 Circle Drive North, Suite 102/103 STREET: Baskin Engineering Bldg., MS SOE2
CITY: Piscataway CITY: Santa Cruz
STATE/ZIP: NJ  08854 - 3723 STATE/ZIP: CA  95064 - 1077
PHONE: (732) 302-9274 PHONE: (831) 459-3571

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gary S. Tompa
201 Circle Drive North, Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08854 - 3723
(732) 302-9274

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
SMI has teamed with a leading thermoelectric (TE) research group in order to optimize and convert high-performance TE materials developed in laboratory-scale into economically producible products for NASA missions and commercial applications. Recent results with nanocomposite films have shown that Figures of Merit (ZT) much greater than 1.0 are possible at laboratory-scale; however a technology road map with the view towards large-volume and low-cost manufacturing processes of such TE devices has not previously been envisioned. We propose to develop a scalable manufacturing process of large-volume and cost-effective nanocomposite TE device films with ZT values exceeding 2.0. In Phase I, SMI and our partner will demonstrate a scalable manufacturing technology for nanocomposite films required for high-performance TE devices. In Phase II, we will continue materials development, device optimization, and process scaling to large-scale production. Further, we will market the technology with end product producers. The Phase III result will be the availability of high-performance TE devices that utilize nanocomposite films for NASA applications, commercial uses in general, and the new energy frontier of waste heat recovery.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Conversion of heat directly to electrical energy is needed for many NASA programs and, following solar energy, will be an important comprementary technology of energy development. We have herein proposed to develop large-volume and low-cost manufacturing technologies of high-performance thermoelectric devices (i.e., both generation of electrical energy and Peltier cooling) that can be used for multiple applications critical in various NASA missions; heat to electricity power conversion in radioisotope heat generators, concentrated solar heat generators, thermoelectric cooling of energy intensive electronics, low temperature sensors and detectors, efficient refrigerators, personnel cooling devices, and so on. The realization of ragged, high-efficiency, and low-cost thermoelectric devices will have substantial positive inpacts on reducing instrument size, weight and cost dramatically benefiting various NASA missions where size, weight and cost are a paramount concern.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Efficient low cost thermoelectric coolers have broad application in high power (heat generating electronics) and sensors requiring compact efficient low temperature operation. Further, looking beyond solar, the next energy frontier is that of waste heat recovery. Devices which recover waste heat will soon come into great demand. SMI intends to meet this emerging need by providing one of the primary enabling tools to produce the materials and thus enable devices themselves (directly and through our customers).

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.

Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Thermoelectric Conversion

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:59