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Super-black Metallic Surfaces


OBJECTIVE: Design, develop, prototype, and demonstrate an antireflective coating or surface treatment process for metals that achieves light absorption of at least 95 percent (with a goal of 99 percent) in the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared regions. In addition to high broadband absorption, this coating or process should permit multiple surface colors on the treated material and improve the heat transfer properties of the material. DESCRIPTION: New surface structuring processes and nanodeposition technologies have demonstrated superior antireflective properties and thermal characteristics that improve heat dissipation. They have also demonstrated hydrophobic (water repellent) anticorrosive properties and hydrophilic (water absorbent) evaporative cooling properties. Although the primary aim of this topic is to create an antireflective coating, these other attributes are highly desirable. This technology has been demonstrated in small volumes, and this SBIR effort will determine if large scale applications are possible. PHASE I: Research, develop, and experiment with methods to reduce and alter the spectrum of reflected light from steel and lightweight metal alloys. Verify through lab testing that the processed surfaces reduce and alter the amount of broadband reflected light off of these materials in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared wavelengths. Verify that the magnitude and duration of heat transfer for the treated materials have been improved. Determine if the candidate process is also applicable to optical glass surfaces. PHASE II: Evolve the process identified in phase I to treat non-planar surfaces. Determine the durability of the surface and whether it will be able to survive in a military environment (MIL-STD-810). Verify through operational testing the improved performance of treated surfaces. PHASE III: Optimize the production process established in Phase II. Create a partnership with industry to commercialize the technology. The coating or process developed under this effort should result in applications across all branches of the armed forces. The transition of this technology to industry will improve heat transfer in electronics, reduce stray light in optics and optical test equipment, and improve electro-optic and camera performance if application temperature versatility can be achieved. REFERENCES: 1. NASA,"NASA Develops Super-Black Material That Absorbs Light Across Multiple Wavelength Bands."Last modified 11-08-2011. Accessed July 3, 2012. 2. Chunlei A.Y., and Guo Vorobyev,"Colorizing metals with femtosecond laser pulses,"Applied Physics Letters, 92, no. 4 (2008), (accessed July 3, 2012).
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