SBIR/STTR Phase II: A Process for Preparing Nanometer-Sized Ceramic Particles at High Production Rates

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Nanotek Instruments, Inc.
1915 First Ave., Opelika, AL, 36801
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Junhai Liu
(334) 821-5630
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop and commercialize a new technology for mass producing nanometer-sized ceramic powders at dramatically reduced costs. The technology, Combined Atomization and Reaction Technique (CART), involves providing an atomizing gas medium containing a reactant element such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, chlorine, fluorine, boron, or sulfur; preparing a metal alloy melt super-heated to a spontaneous reaction temperature at which the alloy can undergo a self-sustaining reaction with the selected reactant element; and introducing reactant gas to concurrently mix, atomize, and react with the critically super-heated alloy melt to form ultra-fine ceramic particles in an atomizer chamber. This Phase II project will design and build a prototype pilot-scale CART apparatus to demonstrate the commercial viability of the technology as applied to the synthesis of nano-sized oxides of selected metals that are deemed to have the greatest commercial potential. The commercial potential of ultrafine powders are in the production of catalysts, coatings and films, conductive pastes, cosmetics, electromagnetic components, electronic devices, fire retardant materials, magnetic fluids, sintered and injection-molded parts, ceramic composites, magnetic storage media, phosphors, pigments, polishing media, and toners. Indium-tin oxide (ITO) powders are used to prepare sputtering targets for deposition of transparent films for use in flat-panel display technology. Nano-grained materials can be employed to replace various load-bearing and non-structural parts in automobiles, infrastructures, off-shore structures, piping, containers, electronic equipment housings, etc. Nano-grained cermets and ceramics are outstanding cutting tool materials. Transparent nano-grained ceramics can be utilized in a broad array of applications, including transparent ceramic appliance components, clear "glassware" and artistic artifacts. Transparent ceramics may also be used in ballistic protection armor by law enforcement, security police and armored car personnel.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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