STTR Phase I: Ultrafast Response Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0539504
Agency Tracking Number: 0539504
Amount: $99,927.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Small Business Information
580 Burbank Street, Unit 100, Broomfield, CO, 80020
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Ferguson
 (303) 318-4146
Business Contact
 Karen Buechler
Phone: (303) 318-4142
Research Institution
 Univ of CO Boulder
 Alan W Weimer
 3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO, 80309
 (303) 492-3759
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project supports the development of ultra-fast (< 1 ns) response Transient Voltage Surge Suppression (TVSS) devices to protect the power infrastructure. Fine nickel particle (~ 50-150 micrometer) samples will be nano-coated by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) with alumina (Al2O3) (10, 7.5, 5, 2.5, and 1.5 nm thick Al2O3 coating), providing novel Metal Insulating Varistor (MIV) particles having metallic surfaces separated by insulative gaps on the order of atomic dimensions. These novel MIV particles will be embedded in coaxial prototype devices and pulse tested with thrust regime voltages up to of 20 kV. The Particle-ALDTM nano-coating process will be scaled-up and 1 kg of powder will be produced to provide samples for partner's devices. The losses in the US to high voltage surges exceed $26 billion annually. High voltage surges result from electrostatic discharges, high power microwaves, power line switching transients, lightning strikes, and potentially EMP. One possible method for handling the electrical overstresses is through the development of quantum tunneling MIVs as proposed here. Other device markets that could benefit from such functionalized fine powders include microelectronics, defense, medical, consumer products, and composite materials, among others.

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

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