SBIR Phase I: Nanothermal Dynamic Mechanical Analysis System For Highly Crosslinked And Filled Polymers
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Anasys Instruments Corp.
25 W. Anapamu, Suite B, Santa Barbara, CA, 93105-3170
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project seeks to develop the technique of Nanothermal Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (Nanothermal DMA). Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) is an essential tool for characterizing bulk specialty polymers, but this type of measurement requires hours to extract the viscoelastic response of bulk samples, with no nanoscale spatial resolution. The Nanothermal DMA system will dramatically increase the sensitivity of current nanoscale thermal analysis techniques and add the ability to rapidly measure and map the temperature-dependent elasticity and viscoelastic response of polymers on the nanoscale. The instrument will be able to conduct force modulation frequency and temperature sweeps in times as short as milliseconds. These innovations will increase the spatial resolution and measurement rate by many orders of magnitude over currently available techniques. This would provide a novel nanoscale characterization technology that will allow high sensitivity mapping of the temperature dependent dynamic mechanical properties of materials at the nanoscale. Understanding materials' structure-property correlations at the nanoscale is crucial to achieving the desired material properties for ensuring sufficient strength, flexibility, toughness and thermal stability in high-value applications. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to allow increased reliability and improved performance across multiple industries where polymeric materials, such as highly crosslinked and filled systems, are critical. A few of the high-value segments to be impacted are the multi-billion dollar industries of semiconductor packaging, photonic devices, medical devices and defense/aerospace. The market for epoxy materials alone is $15 billion, spread across numerous industries. In a number of these fields the volume of epoxy used per device is rapidly shrinking, which creates challenges for reliably curing the epoxy but also poses serious problems in the analysis of the epoxy. Since our nanothermal DMA tool is a non-destructive technique that can be used on actual devices, it can be used both for basic materials R & D and also for packaged device process control on very small volumes of material. It will also be useful for process control and troubleshooting of the portion of the $100 billion medical device industry where these adhesives are a key aspect of device reliability. In all of these industries, large investments are being made in nanoscale materials and new characterization tools are needed to address the critical lack of thermomechanical data at this length scale.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.