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Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: ARPA-E
Contract: DE-AR0001741
Agency Tracking Number: 2785-1511
Amount: $295,924.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-05-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-05-29
Small Business Information
875 N Lima Center Road
Dexter, MI 48130
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Drew Vecchio
 (858) 437-7872
Business Contact
 Mark Hammig
Phone: (734) 660-9412
Research Institution

Energy production has been dominated by hydrocarbon fuels, which are plentiful, cheap, and delivered through an efficient and widespread infrastructure. However, because the combustion of those fuels results in airborne pollutants and CO2 emission, there has been an intense effort to replace those combustion technologies with low-cost, low-emission energy sources. Low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) have been intermittently evinced in the form of excess energy production, unusual isotopic production, and occasional high-energy reaction products. However, the effects have been difficult to reproduce and exploit because the condensed-matter environment in which LENR occurs has not been understood or well-characterized, a deficiency that can be mitigated via nanoscale materials and characterization techniques coupled with local, in-situ real-time sensing of the nuclear by-products that result from the reactions. In this research project, we will use aqueous hydrothermal synthesis of palladium (Pd) nanoparticles and templated growth to form Pd-polymeric composites within which the Pd nanoparticle size and shape are varied, and the interfacial separation and geometry are controlled. A critical part of the Phase I project is to correlate the nanoscale geometry and deuterium loading with the nuclear by-products of the reaction, so that we can explain how MeV-scale mass-energy conversions can be transformed into energetic by-products that may differ from the neutronic, gamma-ray, and high-energy charged particle emissions found from equivalent vacuum nuclear reactions. That understanding allows one to exploit the LENR phenomena during Phase II work, in which we will optimize the fuel and conversion system design to produce high performance prototypes.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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