An Advanced Environmental SPM System with Beam Deflection AFM Capability Suitable for Catalysis Research at Variable Pressure and Variable Temperature, which has all Available SPM Imaging Modes

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
16 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Rhk Technology, Inc.
1050 East Maple Road, Troy, MI, 48083-2813
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Zhouhang Wang
(248) 577-5426
Business Contact:
Zhouhang Wang
(248) 577-5426
Research Institution:

As recognized by the National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Department of Energy, Scanning Probe Microscopes are vital to the advancement of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Although there has been a steady improvement in the capabilities of commercial Scanning Probe Microscopes, instruments optimized for energy research and capable of operating over wide temperature and pressure ranges do not yet exist. This lack of instrumentation holds back research in catalysis, battery and other forms of energy storage performed in real-world working conditions. To eliminate this instrument gap, RHK Technology proposes an Advanced Environmental Scanning Probe Microscope (eSPM) capable of operating over the full pressure range from atmospheric to High Vacuum (10-8 Torr) and from LN2 temperatures to 1000 K. With quick-change plug-and-play scanner modules, the system will be capable of all SPM measuring modes: Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM), Kelvin Force Microscopy (KFM), Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM), and Near Field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM). The eSPM will utilize a highly compact, isolated Environmental Cell (eCell) to minimize reactive gas volume, facilitate quick changes in pressure, and protect sensitive components from harsh environments.Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: After a successful Phase II-III launch, eSPM will provide benefits in clean energy research, national security, and the overall economy. Its advantages will attract strong interest from the DOE, private sector/industry, and public and private research labs. eSPMs heretofore unavailable capabilities enable the study of catalytic reactions and hydrogen storage at the nano-scale and at high pressure and temperature, crucial advantages for breakthroughs by DOE Labs and private sector innovators seeking clean, diversified energy sources. The eSPM also provides new, advanced functionality to analyze the chemical composition, topography, structure, and properties of known and unknown compounds and bio-active substances, with potential strategic and national security value in safeguarding the nation. Furthermore, the novel streamlined design and operation of eSPM will accelerate cutting-edge research results in University, National, DOE, and private sector/industrial labs. For example, optimizing catalysis materials and selectivity at the nanostructural level can radically improve their performance across petro-chem-pharma industries, providing powerful, tangible competitive advantages for the USA economy.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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