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Innovative Passivation Technologies for Aluminum Nanoparticles

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
UES, Inc.
4401 Dayton-Xenia Road Dayton, OH -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Innovative Passivation Technologies for Aluminum Nanoparticles
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W15QKN-12-C-0126
Award Amount: $514,419.00


Aluminum nanopowders (nano-Al) possess surface areas on the order of 20-40 m2/g and have attracted interest throughout the energetics community for propellant and metallization applications. Aluminum has an energy density (-31.05 kJ/g) nearly three times higher than most molecular high explosives and its combustion yields a highly exothermic release of energy (?'Hf (Al2O3) = -1676.8 kJ/mol).Unpassivated nano-Al powders are highly pyrophoric and require stabilization through formation of a nascent oxide layer (2-6 nm), however, this process accounts for significant losses in the amount of reactive Al. To optimize the reactive Al content in nano-Al powders, UES has investigated the use of silicon, deposited through a modified chemical vapor deposition process, as an innovative passivation strategy for stabilizing nano-Al. Silicon has an energy density (-32.42 kJ/g) essentially equivalent to Al and also expresses high reactivity on the nano-scale. Passivation of silicon is achieved through a 34% less dense, 1-2 nm nascent oxide, additionally silicon passivation does not consume any Al, therefore, passivation of nano-Al through deposition of silicon has the potential to eliminate undesirable Sdead weight and replace it with additional reactive fuel.

Principal Investigator:

Christopher Crouse
Principal Investigator
(937) 255-9368

Business Contact:

Rick Weddle
Director, Contracts
(937) 426-6900
Small Business Information at Submission:

UES, Inc.
4401 Dayton-Xenia Road Dayton, OH -

EIN/Tax ID: 310797776
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No