Bottom-Up Self-Assembly of Visible Wavelength Metamaterials

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-08-C-0176
Agency Tracking Number: 07SB2-0500
Amount: $99,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: SB072-035
Solicitation Number: 2007.2
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 618, Christiansburg, VA, 24068
DUNS: 008963758
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard Claus
 (540) 953-1785
Business Contact
 Lisa Lawson
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (540) 985-1785
Research Institution
This program would investigate the feasibility of molecular-level “bottom-up” chemical processing to form metamaterials for operation in the visible and near-IR portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Electrostatic self-assembly (ESA) processes would be used to pattern multilayer arrays of straight and curved conducting segments dimensioned to resonantly absorb electric and magnetic field components. ESA has been used through prior work to manufacture multilayered and patterned materials with controlled multiple constitutive properties, specifically high electron transport efficiency. Resonant segments would be formed from sparse arrays of individual metal nanoclusters. Electron transport in such arrays occurs by quantum mechanical electron hopping rather than by conventional drift field mechanisms such as those in bulk metal conductors; NanoSonic’s Metal Rubber™ is an example of a material that exhibits such behavior. Two “top-down” photolithographic patterning methods would be studied for integration with the self-assembly process, as an alternative to strictly patterning at the molecular level. The bottom-up and top-down processes would be compared in terms of resonant element patterning resolution and array periodicity, and the ability to potentially transition to large area spatial formats. Measurements of material properties, patterning resolution and far-field propagation would be used to downselect the optimal process for further development.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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