SBIR Phase I: Disruptive Performance From Engineered Piezoelectric Organic Polymer Nanocomposites:An Inventive Approach To New Electrical and Mechanical Energy Conversion Materials

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0739814
Agency Tracking Number: 0739814
Amount: $99,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
DUNS: 112087726
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Earl Wagener
 (864) 653-4339
Business Contact
 Earl Wagener
Title: PhD
Phone: (864) 653-4339
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a new discovery by Tetramer which indicates that the addition of a very small amount of nanotubes to poleable polymers can provide an 6X increase to the piezoelectric performance of the composite. This effect, called piezoelectricity, is an alternative energy source which can convert mechanical motion into electrical energy and vice versa. Tetramer will explore the conversion of these nanocomposite materials into not only classical polymer films for use in transducers, actuators, and waste heat recovery, but also explore new types of electrospun smart fabrics for applications such as vibration damping and even wound healing. This could greatly expand the commercial impact of piezopolymers. Piezoelectric materials are a $340 million market US ($900 Million global) growing at 9% per year, with applications such as transducers, actuators, sensors, energy harvesting, and vibration dampening. Piezo electricity is one of many alternative energy sources along with solar, wind, biomass, wave and fuel cells which will continue to play an increasingly important role for both the business and social foundation of the US. Fossil fuels costs, environmental impact, availability and more difficult political foreign source access are going to demand that alternative sources be developed over the next twenty years. Piezoelectric energy conversions, although rarely mentioned in the popular press, are actually more versatile than those mentioned above. Using currently available technology, these commercial applications are already growing at double (9%) the current US GNP with sales of over $340 million. Increased growth will mean broader impact benefits from improved performance in classical applications such as transducers, actuators, sensors, energy harvesting, vibration dampening, and smart polymers. The disruptive technology proposed will allow expansion into new areas of public benefit such as waste heat recovery and wound healing.

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

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