Protecting Polymers from the Natural Space Environment with Films Grown Using Atomic Layer Deposition
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Polymers and paints in space are subjected to a barrage of incident oxygen atoms, UV and VUV photons and ions. The oxygen atoms and photons can erode the polymer and the ions can lead to the buildup of static charge. This Phase I proposal will use atomic layer deposition (ALD) methods to coat polymers with various conformal films to protect the polymer and prevent the buildup of static charge. Al2O3 ALD will be used to prevent oxygen atom corrosion of Teflon polymers. TiO2 ALD and ZnO ALD will be employed to absorb UV and VUV photons to prevent photodegradation of PMMA polymers. ZnO ALD and possibly TiO2 ALD will be used to provide electrical conductivity to remove static charge on Kapton or Teflon polymers. Earlier work by this research team has demonstrated that Al2O3 ALD films with a thickness of ~35 can completely protect Pyralin polymer films from erosion by hyperthermal oxygen atoms. The proposed Phase I work will build on these earlier investigations and extend the ALD method to other polymers and to the problems of UV and VUV erosion and the buildup of static charge.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
ALD NANOSOLUTIONS, INC.
580 Burbank St., Unit 100 Broomfield, CO 80020
Number of Employees:
UNIV. OF COLORADO AT BOULDER
3100 Marine Street, Room 481
Boulder, CO 80309
Randall W. Draper
Nonprofit college or university