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STTR Phase I: High yield production of boron nitride nanotubes for advanced heat management in sustainable technologies

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1331975
Agency Tracking Number: 1331975
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AS
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-06-30
Small Business Information
22151 Ridge Road
Houghton, MI 49931-9010
United States
DUNS: 078715209
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Dustin Winslow
 (906) 487-2900
Business Contact
 Dustin Winslow
Phone: (906) 487-2900
Research Institution
 Michigan Technological University
 Dongyan Zhang
510 West Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49504-
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project focuses on the growth of high quality Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs). BNNTs have both high thermal conductance that is an order of magnitude higher than aluminum, and also have an electronic bandgap of about 6 eV that makes them an excellent electrical insulator. These unique properties promise many exciting applications. Unfortunately, BNNTs are notoriously difficult to grow, which means that they cannot be produced in the quantities necessary to fulfill industrial needs. The objective of this project is to further advance a recently developed growth technique for high quality BNNTs. If successful, this will allow for a thousand-fold increase in the BNNT growth rate over the standard chemical vapor deposition growth methodology. Furthermore, the grown BNNTs will be used to create composite materials, which will be tested for use as thermally conductive materials in thermal management of electronic systems. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project stems from the successful increase in the growth rate of high quality BNNTs. Heat management of electronic systems is one of the most pressing challenges facing the industry. Most electronics systems use plastic materials both as mounting material and as packaging to electrically isolate the electronic components. However, these materials cause heat bottlenecks that require expensive workarounds and bulky cooling systems. For this reason, a large amount of industrial research is focused on solving these heat management challenges. When the growth rate of BNNTs has been successfully scaled up, and the feasibility of the BNNT composites are established, it will allow for wide scale production of thermally conductive, electrically insulating plastic composite materials. These materials can be used in everything from electric engine controllers to high-efficiency light emitting diode units to alleviate the buildup of heat in electronic systems. Widespread use of BNNT composites will allow for decreased electronic component failure rates, decreased need for bulky cooling systems, etc. In addition, these composites will open up the door for new innovations, such as three-dimensional electronic system architectures.

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

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