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Extreme Sample Environment for Beamline Research

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Extreme Sample Environment for Beamline Research
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-12ER90332
Award Amount: $999,976.00


Extreme temperature and non-equilibrium processes are both central to DOEs mission of addressing grand challenges in emerging energy and advanced materials; they are also crucial steps in the manufacture of many high value-add industrial products. MDI is advancing the ability to process and study materials at extreme temperatures and in non-equilibrium conditions by developing a novel containerless processing technology. Containerless techniques, also called `levitation, are emerging as a very effective tool to access and characterize materials at the extreme end of the temperature/stability range. This project is developing, optimizing and benchmarking new sample manipulation techniques that will enable studies of materials under extreme conditions, particularly using high energy synchrotron radiation. The R & amp;D impacts critical technology areas including the manufacture of optical glasses, semiconductors, medical products, and energy conversion materials. Research will be performed jointly by the small business and the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. The proposed solution integrates a novel containerless sample manipulator, laser beam heating, and advanced data acquisition and management with a high flux, high energy x-ray beamline. The R & amp;D will: (i) specify, optimize and construct a prototype instrument; (ii) test and characterize the instrument, including making in-situ measurements, (iii) leverage the SBIR investment to sell instruments to clients in the industrial glass and materials, basic research, and beamline instrumentation markets. The Phase I research was completed on-time and on-budget. Results demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed approach using materials at temperatures up to 3200C and temperature dependent measurements of melt structure. The R & amp;D defined precise requirements for an advanced instrument that will be developed in Phase II to meet customers clearly identified needs. In Phase II the R & amp;D will complete the advanced instrument design based on the Phase I results. A test instrument will be constructed, fully characterized, and perfected through detailed experiments, modeling, and testing at high energy synchrotron beamlines. The Phase II commercialization plan will be implemented to sell instruments to customers who have expressed interest acquiring the new capabilities. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The product of this R & amp;D will be a beamline facility instrument that will be marketed directly to beamline customers. The proposed system has immediate applications in X-ray facilities such as APS, NSLS-II, Diamond, Spring-8 and ESRF. MDI is an equipment developer, manufacturer, and seller which will work directly with customers to install instruments in their facilities and to expand the market. Prior sales of extreme environment instruments is several millions of dollars.

Principal Investigator:

Richard Weber

Business Contact:

Mary Doxas
Small Business Information at Submission:

Materials Development, Inc.
3090 Daniels Court Arlington Heights, IL 60004-7708

EIN/Tax ID: 205356750
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No