USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Novel High Velocity Ion Beam Generation for Space Propulsion

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Busek Co. Inc.
11 Tech Circle Natick, MA 01760-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Novel High Velocity Ion Beam Generation for Space Propulsion
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9300-13-M-1002
Award Amount: $149,995.00


ABSTRACT: Busek Co. Inc. proposes to explore the feasibility of a highly scalable miniature ion beam generator system capable of producing atomic and/or molecular beams with velocities corresponding to energies of 50-100 keV and suitable for Space applications. The proposed system combines the technologies of ion beam generation from an electrospray ion source utilizing ionic liquids and efficient high electric field generation by compact pyro-electric crystals. For the Phase I effort, Busek will demonstrate the feasibility by designing and testing key components of a novel single emitter electrospray ion source powered by pyroelectric crystals. We shall model the ion source with emphases upon effects of crystal temperatures on the electric field created and field enhancement experienced by the ionic liquids. We will test the hypothesis by conducting experiments to seek the generation of ion currents of either positive or negative polarities. The Phase II effort shall fabricate a prototype ion source based on the Phase I findings and demonstrate its operation. BENEFIT: The proposed novel ion source combines the benefits of the efficiency and compactness of electrospray ionic-liquid ion emission source, with a low power and compact electric field generation source provided by pyroelectric materials. Such a device is applicable to a variety of applications ranging from energetic ion beams for materials processing, to small high specific impulse electric propulsion devices and potentially application in remote sensing.

Principal Investigator:

Yu-Hui Chiu
Director, Applied Sciences
(508) 655-5565

Business Contact:

Judy Budny
Contracts Administrator
(508) 655-5565
Small Business Information at Submission:

Busek Co. Inc.
11 Tech Circle Natick, MA -

EIN/Tax ID: 042881247
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No