SBIR Phase I: A New Class of Transparent Coatings with Multiple Functionalities

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEI Corp.
201 Circle Drive North, Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08873
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) coating suitable for polymer substrates which are attractive alternatives to TCO coated glass, because of their low cost, reduced weight and enhanced toughness. Conventional techniques used for depositing TCOs require the substrate to be heated to elevated temperatures, since low temperature deposition leads to films with poor optical and electrical properties. However, polymeric substrates cannot be processed at elevated temperatures. Further, the surface of polymeric materials needs to possess adequate abrasion and scratch resistance. Accordingly, there is a need for a low cost coating technology that imparts multiple functionality to the surface, i.e. combined electrical, optical and mechanical properties. In this project it is proposed to develop coatings composed of a high volume fraction of homogeneously dispersed conducting nanoparticles in an organic-inorganic matrix. The project team will develop coating formulations, deposit films on polymer substrates, characterize the structure, and determine the electrical, mechanical and optical properties. The properties will then be benchmarked against currently used coatings.