SBIR-DoD-NSF

DoD SBIR Solicitations » (Due Date: June 21st, 2017, 8 PM ET)

A17-125: Nanometallic Matrices for Use in Energetic Formulation

TECHNOLOGY AREA(s): Weapons
The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement.

OBJECTIVE:
To develop, scale-up and demonstrate nanometallic matrices for use in explosive and propellant energetic formulations translating to enhanced lethality and range effects.

DESCRIPTION:
Metals have been added to high energetic formulations for many decades to change the characteristics of their base compositions. Metallized formulations predominantly utilize aluminum and are used in a variety of munitions as theoretical equilibrium calculations predict increases in the formulation density, detonation temperature, gurney output and blast performance. However, these benefits are not always recognized as there are factors that prevent significantly less than 100% of the aluminum from contributing to the reaction. As such, efforts on developing and testing energetic explosive and propellant formulations utilizing conventional metals and improved oxidizers still suffer from incomplete combustion, low burn rates, low specific impulse and low exhaust velocities.

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As with any metallized energetic material, the performance of metallized explosives is intimately linked with the reactivity (i.e., burn rate, extent of combustion, etc.) of the metal particles used in the formulation. Fundamentally, one issue associated with all types of metallized energetic formulations is the incomplete recovery of the energy potential of the fuel. For metals, the two primary causes are incomplete metal combustion during the primary energetic event and/or excessive oxidation prior to combustion. To address the former issue, more rapidly reacting metal particles with higher surface-to-volume ratios (e.g. nanoparticles) have been investigated; however, these types of materials are generally even more vulnerable to oxidation which can significantly reduce their effectiveness.

Therefore, in order to achieve higher lethality and extended range in munition systems, a need exists to develop air-stable, minimally-oxidized nano-metallic matrices with greater energy release capabilities in explosive and propellant formulations.  Of particular interest are those metal and semi-metal-based fuel composites which possess relatively high specific energies, such as (but not limited to) aluminum, lithium, or silicon. Further consideration is given to materials possessing the ability to exist as hydrogen carriers in a stable, passivated state.  Use of such hydride materials would benefit propellants and explosives by yielding hydrogen and subsequent water as a combustion product.  Furthermore, such materials could possibly be used as hydrogen and energy storage devices for mobile power generation applications.

In general, the addition of metals is also desired as they are non-explosive ingredients that provide insensitivity benefits while still contributing to the energetic output.  If nano-metallized matrices or nanocomposites can be developed to contribute close to 100% to the energy, it would help bridge 3 distinct technical gaps. 1) Insensitive munition (IM) requirements as the metal is an inert material.  2) Enhanced lethality as more metal contributed to energy output.  3) Extended range as metalized propellants have enhanced burn rates and impulse and the payload can be decreased as well reducing the weight while matching lethality.

PHASE I:
This phase shall consist of the development and preparation of lab-scale quantities of nano-metallic matrices or nanocomposites with improved properties and small particle size (< 50 nm).  Basic studies shall ensure to demonstrate safety in handling (effective passivation technologies), stability with energetic compounds (differential scanning calorimeter tests of compatibilities), minimal oxide layer (not more than 10% oxide content by mass), negligible aging in air, and effective processing techniques that demonstrate control of particle size and repeatable batch characteristics (crystallinity and chemical uniformity). Sample sizes of up to 1 pound shall be formulated in an existing metallized formulation and compared to baseline data. For instance, PAX-3 utilizing the new nanometallic would be compared to traditional PAX-3 and the non-metallized analog composition of PAX-2A utilizing detonation calorimetry and small scale detonation tests.  These tests serve as reliable screening tools to assess whether or not the metal reacts early in the detonation to promote gurney enhancement.  A propellant formulation will also be used to compare the nanometallic with traditional ingredients, and burn rate and impulse will be measured.  Data would be compiled to determine the extent of metal contributing during the detonation. Theoretical studies using thermodynamic equilibrium software will explore the gas phase product formation and estimate the enhancement level of blast products.

At the conclusion of this phase, a data set characterizing lab-scale nano-metallic matrices or nanocomposites is expected, as well as a data set for their inclusion in energetic formulations.  This data is expected to show evidence of enhanced lethality and extended range benefits.  Additionally, the information required for a smooth scale-up to larger batch sizes is recommended.

PHASE II:
The synthesis/preparation of the enhanced nano-metallic matrices or nanocomposites will be scaled up to produce approximately 1 kg of materials for further evaluation.  Scale-up procedures and required equipment will be well documented to illustrate the potential for producing within existing infrastructure or up-and-coming methods.  Material quantities will be needed to support characterization testing demonstrating the enhanced lethality and extended range benefits from the incorporation of the metallized additives into the formulations.  Tests include blast overpressure testing and cylinder expansion tests. Additionally, sensitivity characterization can be conducted to illustrate the benefits the inert metallized materials have on IM properties. These tests include large scale gap testing and other related IM tests.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:
The synthesis/preparation of the enhanced nano-metallic matrices or nanocomposites will be scaled-up to a level supporting quantities for system level demonstrations.  Scale-up demonstrations will be performed in triplicate for verification and validation purposes.  Metallized material quantities will be utilized to support system level engineering tests to verify and validate the accomplishments of the characterization testing conducted in Phase II.

REFERENCES:

  1. Klapke, T.M. (2012) Chemistry of High-Energy Materials, 2nd ed., Walter de Gruyter & Co.: Berlin, 2012. 257 pp. ISBN 978-311027358-8.
  2. Teipel, U. (2005) “Energetic Materials, Particle Processing and Characterization,” Ulrich Teipel, editor; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
  3. Akhaven, J. (2011) “The Chemistry of Explosives,” 3rd Edition; Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK.

KEYWORDS: Explosives, Propellants, Fuels, Metals, Munitions, Combustion, Impulse, Nano, Hydride

TPOC-1: Omar Abbassi
Phone: 973-724-3660
Email: Omar.s.abbassi.civ@mail.mil

DTRA172-005: Development of Ultracapacitors with High Energy Density and Low Leakage

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Materials/Processes, Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop an ultracapacitor with energy greater than 450 Wh/L, retain charge for at least 30 days, and operate from -40 degrees C to +60 degrees C.

DESCRIPTION: Military operations, particularly surveillance and remotely operated technology-based activities, require increasingly energy dense power supplies, while remaining small, low-noise, and long lived. Additionally, it is advantageous to have long component life (many charge/discharge cycles), the ability to charge quickly, be able to operate in a wide variety of environmental conditions. Ultracapacitors may be able to answer these requirements, providing performance equal or superior to battery technology.

The purpose of this technology is to provide power to low-observable sensors and surveillance equipment for periods up to thirty days, in an operating range of -40 degrees C to +60 degrees C. It is estimated that an optimal solution would provide 450 Wh/L. However, as a key object of this research is to reduce DTRA’s dependence on batteries and their associated logistics train, lower energy densities will be considered.

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PHASE I:
Develop, evaluate, and validate innovative materials or techniques for use in an ultra-high energy density ultracapacitor while demonstrating satisfactory charge retention. By the end of phase one, materials and techniques should have been demonstrated to have the potential for fulfilling the needs of a full-up end item.

PHASE II:
Utilize the materials and techniques developed in phase I of this research to develop a prototype ultracapacitor and demonstrate its ability to meet the requirements laid out in the description. The end item will need to be sufficiently rugged as to withstand rough or industrial handling, the temperature extremes noted above, and be simple to use. Additionally, the end item should be contained in such a way that it can be safely handled by untrained personnel without preemptive discharge.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:
Defense Threat Reduction Agency requires power supplies for its equipment, and would find it useful; in addition, the world market for power supplies supports the commercialization of any technology that is competitive with lithium battery technology.

REFERENCES:

  1. Lele Peng, Xu Peng, Borui Liu, Changzheng Wu, Yi Xie, and Guihua Yu, “Ultrathin Two-Dimensional MnO2/Graphene Hybrid Nanostructures for High-Performance, Flexible Planar Supercapacitors,” Nano Letters 2013 13 (5), 2151-2157
  2. Hertzberg, B., Kaidos, A., Koyalenko, I., Magasinski, A., Dixon, P., Yushin, G., “Novel materials for advanced supercapacitors and Li-ion batteries,” International SAMPE Technical Conference, 2010, 2010 SAMPE Fall Technical Conference and Exhibition

KEYWORDS: ultracapacitors, supercapacitors, high energy density, distributed energy storage, long-term energy storage

TPOC-1: Jeffrey Graham
Phone: 703-806-5381
Email: jeffrey.j.graham6.mil@mail.mil

 

TPOC-2: Michael Bond
Phone: 703-806-7284
Email: michael.b.bond2.mil@mail.mil

N172-115: Selective Emission of Light Utilizing Functionally Graded Energetic Materials

TECHNOLOGY AREA(s): Materials/Processes, Weapons
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-272 Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE:
Develop a functionally-graded flare grain for airborne expendable countermeasures applications with time-varying output.

DESCRIPTION:
The deflagration of energetic materials has been used throughout recorded history for the generation of light.  Specific wavelengths can be emitted to produce a desired effect through the careful selection of fuels, oxidizers and binders. For example, strontium-based compounds emit red light, while barium-based compounds emit green light [1].  Additionally, infrared emission may be generated in the form of blackbody radiation, which varies with the temperature of combustion.

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Airborne expendable countermeasures are deployed from military aircraft to counter incoming threat missiles.  The guidance system of the missile may employ a variety of different sensors that detect and track the electromagnetic signature of the aircraft.  Upon deployment, the countermeasure device provides an additional electromagnetic signature in the field of view of the missile.  The new incoming signal must be processed by the missile, and if successful, the missile will begin to track the countermeasure, diverting its trajectory from the aircraft.

As missiles employ more sophisticated sensors and decision-making algorithms, the countermeasures required to deceive them must also be more sophisticated.  The increased demand for performance must be met while the device size and quantity on-board remain constant.  The ability to generate specific electromagnetic signatures in time and space becomes critical.

One means of generating such selectively tuned signatures may be through careful layering of varied energetic materials.  Another may include creation of surface or interior structural features that enhance burning surface area.  Other means may also be considered. Modern manufacturing methods and developments in materials science may allow for the development of transformational changes in the performance of countermeasure flares.  Precise control of material fabrication may enable precise control of electromagnetic signature as a function of time.

Pyrotechnics are typically comprised of finely powdered fuels (submicron to 100 micron, often metals) and oxidizers and a binder which may also be a powder, a rubber, or a curable liquid.  Historically, display fireworks manufacturers have developed inside-to-outside, layer-by-layer methods to achieve color-changing effects utilizing different pyrotechnic mixtures in each layer.  These are fabricated by hand, which is labor-intensive.  Since this is a manual process, it is difficult to obtain the highly uniform layering that is necessary for precise signature tailoring.  The pyrotechnic compositions used in military applications are more energetic and sensitive than those used commercially, and dangerous to work with by hand.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified.  Note:  The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS).  The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement.  The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.

Proposers must be able to obtain raw ingredients, and safely handle, process, store and ship energetic materials (Hazard Class 1.3 or 1.1 [2]).

Payloads fabricated using new techniques must maintain physical integrity and function properly when subjected to 40-ft drop, aircraft and transportation vibration, and 28-day temperature and humidity cycling.  They must ignite and burn consistently over a range (-65F/+160F) of temperatures [3,4].

PHASE I:
Develop an innovative solution to incorporate multiple pyrotechnic compositions into a single pellet with layering structures and surface features that, when burned, will sequentially and distinctly display the characteristics of each composition.  Test pellets (minimum of 5 pellets, up to 25 grams total explosive weight per pellet) comprised of at least three different pyrotechnic compositions should be delivered to the government for combustion testing as a proof of concept.  The compositions should each produce a different effect (for example, combinations of different colored smoke and light) and/or have a distinctly different burn rate.  The different effects produced by each layer should be clearly observable during combustion testing of the pellets.

PHASE II:
Specific compositions and output requirements will be provided by the government.  The fabrication process established in Phase I should be adapted and incrementally scaled to fabricate full-sized flare pellets (1.25” diameter x 6” length).  An interim hazard classification or Department of Transportation explosives shipping (DOT EX) number will need to be obtained to ship a minimum of 30 prototype pellets for government evaluation.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:
Integrate prototype pellets from Phase II into standard Navy countermeasure hardware, as specified by the government.  The payload material must be ejected and ignited sympathetically via the combustion gases of an impulse cartridge (CCU-136A/A) [5].  Suitability for fleet use will be demonstrated by performing durability testing, environmental testing, flight effectiveness testing and qualification testing [3,4].

The fabrication techniques developed under this project may be used to fabricate devices for commercial fireworks and pyrotechnic applications.

REFERENCES:

  1. Conkling, John A. Chemistry of Pyrotechnics. N.p.: CRC, 1985. Print.
  2. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Section 173.56
  3. MIL-STD-810G
  4. MIL-STD-331C
  5. MIL-DTL-82962

KEYWORDS: pyrotechnic; countermeasure; decoy; signature; infrared; aircraft

TPOC-1: 812-854-6631

 

TPOC-2: 301-342-6735

 

TPOC-3: 904-317-1938

N172-125: Out-of-Autoclave Composite Curing Utilizing Nanostructured Heaters

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Materials/Processes
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA 262, Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program office/ Triton

OBJECTIVE:
To develop innovative approaches to cure and repair composite aircraft structures without utilizing an autoclave (“Out of Autoclave Composites”) using nanostructured heaters.

DESCRIPTION:
A constraint in fabricating high quality composites parts is the need of an autoclave. There has been sustained research in developing resin systems and fabrication processes that allow composites to be cured without pressure in a vacuum bag, but still in an oven. However, these Out of Autoclave (OOA) technologies have not matured yet and autoclave cure remains the gold standard. Recent developments in nanostructured heaters (i.e., carbon nanotube based) show promise in producing temperatures as high as 500 C and can be used to produce high quality parts. Such heaters can act as envelope heaters or can be embedded at lamina interfaces with the potential of producing parts of autoclave quality, eliminating the need for an autoclave or oven. These nanostructured heaters have the potential of curing very large parts with lower energy and at reduced cost compared to autoclave or oven cure.  The Navy is seeking to foster this new technology to develop energy efficient repairs as the primary target; however, this topic will be a stepping stone for OOA and out of oven cure of primary structure of future air platforms. While the primary focus of the topic is Polymer Matrix Composites with cure temperatures below 200 C the proposed technology should be able generate temperatures up to 500 C reliably and in a stable manner.

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PHASE I:
Define and develop a concept to use nanostructured heater to cure aerospace grade out of autoclave composites. Establish feasibility of the proposed concept of the producing panels and by coupon level testing.  Deliverables include comparison of porosity, strength, and stiffness coupon-data against a conventionally cured baseline.

PHASE II:
Using results from Phase I, (1) demonstrate the concept on a subcomponent level such as a fuselage or a wing panel, (2) develop processes and demonstrate the use of nanostructured heaters for repairs.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:
Integrate Phase II development into repair program of a Navy Air platform.

The topic has the potential of curing very large parts; it can be used to cure high temperature resins such as bismaleimide (BMI) and benzoxazine, both of which are of interest to the DoD.  This technology could be used for efficiently fabricating large, high quality parts and for repairing parts with high cure temperature resin. An additional application is the fabrication of thermoplastic components as the need for high temperature in a controlled manner during fabricating thermoplastics is a gap that has to be addressed to improve quality of thermoplastic parts. This topic has the potential of addressing the gap and accelerating the use of thermoplastics in primary airframe structures.

The use of composites in civilian aerospace is as pervasive as it is in the military side. Thus, energy efficient repairs are as transitionable to the commercial sector as it is to the military sector.

REFERENCES:

  1. Lee, Jeonyoon, et al. Aligned Carbon Nanotube Film Enables Thermally Induced State Transformations in Layered Polymeric Materials. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 7.16 (2015): 8900-8905.
  2. Jung, Daewoong, et al. “Transparent Film Heaters Using Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Sheets.” Sensors and Actuators a: Physical 199.11 (2013): 176-180.”

KEYWORDS: Composite Repairs; Out of Autoclave; Nano-heaters; Composite Curing; composites; composites manufacturing; out of autoclave curing

TPOC-1: Neil Graf
Email: neil.graf@navy.mil

 

TPOC-2: Anisur Rahman
Email: anisur.rahman@navy.mil

N172-139: Safe Primary Battery

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Electronics, Weapons
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Strategic Systems Programs

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE:
Develop and demonstrate advanced battery technologies for a primary battery that can meet submarine launched ballistic missile requirements with a specific energy equal to or greater than current silver zinc battery technologies.

DESCRIPTION:
Affordability, safety, and reliability are major objectives of Navy Strategic Systems Programs for continued life extension of the D5 Trident Missile.  Current Silver Oxide technology is at risk of becoming obsolete, while other battery technologies with similar or greater specific energy suffer from multiple failure modes, have limited storage life, or have not been tailored to meet the unique requirements for the Navy Strategic Systems Programs. A primary battery that can last 25+ years without the need for maintenance or significant energy loss while in storage, is reliable, and is inherently safe; e.g. is not susceptible to thermal runaway, is required.

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Submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) have storage lifetimes of 25+ years; and must maintain reliable operation at any point within this time period without the battery being activated. When the battery is activated it must rise to full voltage within a minute and have an activated life of 5+ hours. The battery must be able to survive shock, vibration, and temperatures associated with the launch environments and exo-atmospheric flight. The battery will be required to provide power for missile avionics, guidance, and ordnance initiation events for the entire flight profile. The load on the battery must be capable of periods of pulse power with an average 2C discharge.  The goal of this technology development is to design, develop, and test an advanced design for primary batteries capable of 25+ years of storage, 5+ hours of activated life, with a specific energy at a minimum of 50 Wh/kg and a goal to exceed 100 Wh/kg. The battery must be inherently safe during its entire lifetime through the end of discharge. Due to the safety issues associated with lithium battery technologies and the process to receive certification through the Naval Ordnance Security and Safety Activity (NOSSA) for use on an ordnance system, lithium battery technologies will not be considered at this time.

PHASE I:
Develop a proof-of-concept solution; identify candidate materials, technologies and designs.  Conduct a feasibility assessment for the proposed solution showing advancements over current state-of-the-art technologies and designs. Develop Anode, cathode, and electrolyte and conduct physical testing to demonstrate feasibility of a Phase II cell. At the completion of Phase I the design and assessment will be documented for Phase II.  The deliverables for this phase include:

  1. Assessment of battery technology safety
  2. Estimate of battery performance characteristics
  3. Proof of concept cell characterization
  4. Preliminary battery design concept

PHASE II:
Expand on Phase I results by fabricating prototype cells and conducting performance testing to establish cell performance characteristics (Wh/kg, Wh/L, temperature range, discharge rate capability) and safety.  The deliverables for this phase consist of:

  1. Prototype cells capable of assembly into a battery that can deliver 30V nominal at 22Ah.
  2. Subscale prototype demonstrating cell performance and battery design validation
  3. Performance characterization to include:
    • Wh/kg
    • Wh/L
    • Discharge rate capability
    • Temperature range
    • Safety characterization (cell shorted, cell puncture, shock/vibe etc.)
  4. A manufacturing assessment of a concept design 30V, 22Ah battery

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:
Assemble a sufficient quantity of full scale prototype batteries to characterize performance in relevant environments.  Performance characterization should include but not be limited to:

  1. Wh/Kg
  2. Wh/L
  3. Startup profile into a representative load
  4. Wet Stand Life
  5. Discharge profile into representative load
  6. Performance under Thermal environment (Hot/Cold)
  7. Pressure performance (vacuum)
  8. Vibration performance
  9. Safety performance characterization (battery shorted, cell puncture, Thermal etc.)

Inherently safe battery technologies with the calendar life required for Navy Strategic Systems Programs that are developed under this topic will be applicable to many military and commercial missile and rocket programs.  In addition, this safe battery technology is applicable to the automotive, airline and ship industries where human safety is of paramount importance.

REFERENCES:

  1. “Navy Lithium Battery Safety Program: Responsibilities and Procedures”. NAVSEA S9310-AQ-SAF-010. Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity (NOSSA). http://www.public.navy.mil/NAVSAFECEN/Documents/afloat/Surface/CS/Lithium_Batteries_Info/LithBattSafe.pdf
  2. Banner, J, Tisher, M, Bowling, G “When Batteries Go Bad”. Joint Power Expo, New Orleans LA, 5-7 May 2009. http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2009power/May6CJulieBanner/banner.pdf
  3. Ritchie, A. G., and N. E. Bagshaw. “Military Applications of Reserve Batteries [and Discussion].” Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, vol. 354, no. 1712, 1996, pp. 1643–1652. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roypta/354/1712/1643.full.pdf?

KEYWORDS: Battery; Safety; Missile; Cell; Energy; Efficiency

TPOC-1: Eric Phillips
Phone: 202-433-5742
Email: eric.phillips@ssp.navy.mil

 

TPOC-2: William Marple
Phone: 202-433-5804
Email: william.marple@ssp.navy.mil

NSF SBIR Solicitations » (Due Date: June 14th, 2017, due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time)

Advanced Materials and Instrumentation (MI)

MI3. Coatings and Surface Modifications

Material and process innovations in surface modifications and coatings. Includes (but is not limited to) coatings for improved corrosion and wear resistance, anti-microbial and anti-fouling coatings, surface modifications for specialized applications such as superhydrophobic or biologically/chemically active surfaces, and techniques to improve manufacturability and reduce cost. Refer to the MI1 topic for proposals related to inorganic coatings.


Chemical and Environmental Technologies (CT)

CT2. Chemicals, Polymers, Plastics and Derivatives

Projects may involve (but are not limited to) the development of inorganic and organic chemicals, novel polymeric materials; advanced polymers, bio-based polymers; bioplastics; biosurfactants; coatings; sealants; elastomers; adhesives; composites; biopesticides and herbicides, insecticides; pharmaceuticals; fibers; self-healing barrier films improving environmental and/or corrosion protection and life; protective coatings with sensing functionality; multifunctional polymers and polymeric materials for any field of use; sustainable packaging materials for food and non-food applications; bioengineered polymers/plastics and biochemically produced chemicals, monomers, and polymers that lead to more sustainable, greener replacements to current products/materials. Projects may focus on novel approaches that possess superior cost and performance characteristics compared to an existing commercial technology/product; chemicals, polymeric, or plastic-based materials that show enhanced end-of-life biodegradability and superior recyclability. Projects of interest may seek to develop technologies that facilitate recycle and conversion of post-consumer waste, industrial, agricultural, and food waste, waste polymeric materials, plastics, etc., into cost-competitive products for commercial use.

CT6. Energy Efficiency, Capture, Storage and Use

Proposed projects could include novel technology and approaches for storage and management of any energy sources. Projects may include novel technology that leads to substantial enhancement in energy storage capacity, energy use efficiency, smart energy management, thermal management, and insulation; superior energy recovery from waste streams compared to currently available technologies in any application, including (but not limited to) residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Technologies may include innovations in (but not limited to) combinations of mechanical, electrical, electrochemical, chemical/material, and biochemical approaches to improving energy efficiency in any commercially relevant application with potential for significant scalable societal impact. Innovations for existing or novel energy storage and conversion technologies (such as batteries, capacitors, supercapacitors, novel fuel cells/engines, etc.) are also relevant; materials innovations in energy applications; lubrication/tribology innovations leading to enhancing energy efficiency; innovations in insulation materials; and off-grid portable energy generation and storage technologies that completely rely on renewable sources to allow supporting industrial energy needs in remote and underdeveloped economic regions. Proposals may also cover new or novel system level optimization, monitoring, control approaches to enhancing sustainability and energy usage and efficiency of any industrial process and manufacturing technologies.


Advanced Manufacturing & Nanotechnology (MN)

M7. Transportation Technologies

Proposed projects might include (but are not limited to) the reduction of engine emissions; the reduction of greenhouse gases resulting from combustion; vehicle weight reduction; vehicle components; improved engine and fuel efficiency; reduction of SOx, NOx, and particulates resulting from combustion; reduction in wear and environmental pollutants. Projects may include technologies of commercial importance for low-temperature combustion, flexible fuel and fuel blends for automotive applications, improved atomizers and ignition characteristics, low heat-loss (coatings, materials, etc.) engines, on-board energy harvesting (e.g., thermoelectric generators), energy conversion and storage, improved catalyst systems, and other alternative technologies to improve fuel efficiency, reduce energy loss, and reduce environmental emissions; advanced batteries for transportation, including radically new battery systems or breakthroughs based on existing systems with a focus on high-energy density and high-power density batteries suitable for transportation applications.

N1. Nanomaterials

Proposals may include material innovations in scalable synthesis, purification, and processing techniques for hierarchical nanostructures, nanolayered structures, nanowires, nanotubes, quantum dots, nanoparticles, nanofibers, and other nanomaterials.

N2. Nanomanufacturing

Proposals that seek to develop innovative processes, including self-assembly, nanolithography, nano-patterning, nano-texturing, nano-3D printing etc., techniques, and equipment for the low-cost, large-area or continuous manufacturing of nano-to micro-scale structures and their assembly/integration into higher order systems are encouraged.