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STTR Phase I: Ultrafast Response Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
ALD NanoSolutions
580 Burbank St Unit 100 Broomfield, CO 80020-7166
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: STTR Phase I: Ultrafast Response Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0539504
Award Amount: $99,927.00


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project supports the development of ultra-fast (< 1 ns) response Transient Voltage Surge Suppression (TVSS) devices to protect the power infrastructure. Fine nickel particle (~ 50-150 micrometer) samples will be nano-coated by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) with alumina (Al2O3) (10, 7.5, 5, 2.5, and 1.5 nm thick Al2O3 coating), providing novel Metal Insulating Varistor (MIV) particles having metallic surfaces separated by insulative gaps on the order of atomic dimensions. These novel MIV particles will be embedded in coaxial prototype devices and pulse tested with thrust regime voltages up to of 20 kV. The Particle-ALDTM nano-coating process will be scaled-up and 1 kg of powder will be produced to provide samples for partner's devices. The losses in the US to high voltage surges exceed $26 billion annually. High voltage surges result from electrostatic discharges, high power microwaves, power line switching transients, lightning strikes, and potentially EMP. One possible method for handling the electrical overstresses is through the development of quantum tunneling MIVs as proposed here. Other device markets that could benefit from such functionalized fine powders include microelectronics, defense, medical, consumer products, and composite materials, among others.

Principal Investigator:

John Ferguson

Business Contact:

Karen J. Buechler
Small Business Information at Submission:

ALD NanoSolutions, Inc.
580 Burbank Street Unit 100 Broomfield, CO 80020

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Univ of CO Boulder
3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80309
Contact: Alan W. Weimer
Contact Phone: (303) 492-3759
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university