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High Pressure Sintered Nanotubes - Fullerenes for Propulsion Systems

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Diamond Materials Inc.
120 Centennial Avenue Piscataway, NJ 08854
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: High Pressure Sintered Nanotubes - Fullerenes for Propulsion Systems
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $70,000.00


We propose to develop and demonstrate new ablation/erosion resistant carbon material for application in nanosatellite propulsion systems. Our newly invented conductive superhard, high bond strength ¿polymerized¿ fullerene materials will achieve the high ablation and erosion resistance. The new materials called Fullertubite and DiamoniteTM (patent pending) have properties that make them ideal for use in the micro-engines to be used in orbit upkeeping and transfer. The new materials will allow fabrication of nozzles and engine system elements that are subjected to very high temperature gases expanding from the reaction chamber. DiamoniteTM is the third hardest material after diamond and c-BN; it is isotropic, and highly fracture and abrasion resistant. The bonds of the material are predominantly sp3, endowing it with a low sputter rate along with high erosion resistance. It¿s also electrically conductive, which makes it suitable for electrical micropropulsion systems. Fullertubite/DiamoniteTM are formed by the high-pressure (>1 GPa), high-temperature (>400¿C) sintering of nanotubes and C60 fullerenes into an isotropic non-crystalline material using DMIs developed sintering technology. Phase I will focus on proof-of-principle development of Fullertubite/DiamoniteTM materials and determining their ablation/erosion, thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties at engine conditions. In Phase II the Fullertubite/DiamoniteTM micro engine parts will be fabricated and tested in a nanosatellite propulsion systems.

Principal Investigator:

Oleg Voronov
Senior Scientist

Business Contact:

Gary S. Tompa
Small Business Information at Submission:

Diamond Materials Inc.
120 Centennial Ave. Piscataway, NJ 08854

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No