NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 04.08-9450A

PROJECT TITLE : Atomic Oxygen Resistant Coatings

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Development of a new class of thin-film coatings for protection of materials in the space environment is proposed. The coatings are derived from amorphous silicon-carbon, silicon-boron and boron-carbide alloy films deposited at low to intermediate temperatures (100oC - 400oC) by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). These films can be modified by additions of nitrogen, oxygen, and fluorine to produce coatings that are resistant to atomic oxygen erosion, have controllable optical properties over solar and thermal infrared spectral ranges, and have exceptional chemical stability. Specific innovations include: the use of amorphous Si, C, and B alloys as barriers to atomic oxygen erosion; the use of N, O, and F doping to modulate solar absorptance (as), thermal emittance (e), and index of refraction; and, the use of phosphorus doping to control the electronic conductivity of the coatings. These innovations will lead to atomic-oxygen-resistant coatings for thermal blankets, composites, ceramics, sensor windows, and optical transparencies that are exposed to the space environment. The coatings are non-outgassing, nonflammable, nontoxic, and have no adverse environmental effects from either their manufacture or disposal. The coatings will further provide a high degree of protection from moisture and environmental contaminants during prelaunch handling and storage.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Commercial applications include coatings for AO protection on a variety of spacecraft surfaces including thermal control blankets, structural composites, sensor windows, and other optical components. Terrestrial applications in coatings for optical filters; ophthalmic lenses; view ports; visors; and protective eyewear are anticipated.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Dr. Stuart F. Cogan
EIC Laboratories, Inc.
111 Downey Street
Norwood, MA 02062
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
EIC Laboratories, Inc.
111 Downey Street
Norwood, MA 02062