Electrostatic Self-Assembly of Nanocomposite Electro-Optic Materials

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS3-02018
Agency Tracking Number: 012976
Amount: $69,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 618, Christiansburg, VA, 24068
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kristie L. Cooper
 Research Scientist
 (540) 953-1785
 klcooper@nanosonic.com
Business Contact
 Richard O Claus
Title: President
Phone: (540) 953-1785
Email: roclaus@nanosonic.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
NanoSonic and a major U.S. aerospace company would work together during the Phase I NASA SBIR program to develop a ground-based experiment to evaluate the potential advantages of the nanoscale self-assembly of electro-optic materials in space. For use in low-voltage, high frequency electro-optic modulators, such materials require the internal nanoscale alignment of molecular dipoles. Conventional guest-host polymer-based electro-optic modulator materials achieve such alignment through the application of a large electric field at elevated temperatures, followed by cooling of the polymer to effectively freeze in the dipolar alignment. However, since the resulting material is in a nonequilibrium state, this alignment relaxes with time and temperature, and modulator performance decreases. Biologically-inspired liquid phase self-assembly processes have been demonstrated to yield improved molecular alignment, without the need for electric field poling. Additional improvements in alignment and resulting electro-optic properties may be possible by avoiding the influence of the gravitational field on intermolecular dynamics during the self-assembly process. During the Phase I program, a self-contained and simple terrestrial experiment will be developed to allow the evaluation of the effect of gravitational effects on the molecular alignment of electro-optic materials during self-assembly. Experimental evaluation will be performed in cooperation with NASA.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government