In this SBIR Phase 1 project, Smart Material Solutions, Inc. will fabricate passive dust mitigating surfaces using micro- and nano-texturing. The texturing will be created by SMS’s novel and highly scalable “Nanocoining” technique, which uses mechanical indenting to rapidly replicate micro- and nano-patterns onto a metal surface, such as a seamless cylindrical drum mold for roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography.
The project involves a partnership with Professor Chih-Hao Chang at the University of Texas, Austin, an expert in the wetting and adhesion properties of nanotextured surfaces. Professor Chang’s experience will guide the design of surfaces to resist adhesion of lunar dust simulants. Designed surfaces with a range of topographies will be created on a 6” diameter metal mold and replicated into space-grade polymers such as FEP, Teflon, and Kapton using thermal and UV-assisted embossing. The fabricated textured surfaces will then be chemically treated and tested with lunar dust simulant at UT Austin.
The proposed work will further develop a nano-patterning technique that is more than 500 times faster than electron beam lithography and can be used for multiple surface modification or optical applications with value in industry, at NASA, and beyond.