Low-Cost Method for Metal Nano-Coating of Anisotropic Carbon Fibers
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Presently, there is a pressing need from U.S. Army in developing metal-coated carbon fibers, which will be used as the payload for the Joint Program Manager (JPM) microwave obscuration program because they are excellent attenuators in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The metal coatings around carbon fibers are required to be highly conductive, less than 50 nm, and simultaneously can be produced cost-effectively. However, there is not a cost-effective processing method available that is capable of depositing a thin metal coatings less than 50 nm around carbon fibers. Therefore, in this proposed research program, Aegis technology will: (1) Develop and demonstrate a novel nano-coating method for carbon fibers based on one-step exchange-cross-linking-precipitation to generate a highly conductive metal nano-layer (less than 50 nm) around carbon fibers; (2) Identify the underlying technical issues that govern the fabrication and performance of the coating system; and (3) Use this knowledge to design and manufacture such highly conductive metal nano-coatings around carbon fibers that exhibit the extinction coefficient required by Army. The anticipated technological impact of the proposed research program is the development and implementation of a low-cost nanoscale thin-film fabrication concept based on stabilized metal nanoparticles that provide the performance of metal-coated carbon fibers exceeding that with commercially available technology.
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