Multifunctional Metal-Polymer Nanocomposites for Space Applications

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

International Scientific Technologies, Inc.
P.O. Box 757
Dublin , VA 24084
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

NASA has identified a need for new high performance-to-weight materials capable of protecting critical components from the space environment, mitigating threat of uncontrolled electrostatic discharge, and reducing vulnerability to radiation or thermally induced damage. Recent advances in metallic nanoparticle-polymer composites have shown promise of meeting these multifunctional design goals, but their achievement has been hampered by non-uniform dispersion of nanoparticles within the polymeric matrix. To address these problems, International Scientific Technologies - Aerospace Systems Division will modify metal nanoparticle surfaces with organic ligands to fabricate reliable nanocomposites. The proposed material development is responsive to NASA Subtopic X2.03 by providing a means by which a wide-range of multifunctional nanostructured materials may be designed and fabricated. The Phase I Technical Objectives include fabrication of conductive nanocomposites incorporating metallic nanoparticles in polymeric materials, measurement of nanocomposite properties in simulated space environments, and optimization of proof-of-concept conductive multifunctional nanocomposites. In the Phase I program, metallic nanoparticles will be functionalized for incorporation into polymeric matrices for electrostatic control and prevention of atomic oxygen degradation. The project innovation is the development of ligand-modified nanoparticle additives to realize multifunctional nanocomposite