Novel Transparent Coating for Canopy ESD Protection

Period of Performance: 03/31/2000 - 03/31/2002

$745K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eikos, Inc.
Ma
Franklin, MA 02038
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

In Phase I Eikos, Inc. successfully demonstrated our Nanoshield (tm) ESD technology, using ceramer-nanotube nanocomposites for space based ElectroStatic Dissipation (ESD) protection. A solution to the accumulation of electrical charges on either commercial or military satellites consists of providing a spacecraft with a conducting outer skin having a ground connection to metal parts of the superstructure. This technology consists of highly conductive nanotubes combined with a tough, atomic oxygen resistant ceramer matrix to provide a hard, erosion-resistant coating. The ESD layer can be tailored to provide good interfacial bonding to the substrate. The coating matrix is based on a new high abrasion resistant coating material prepared using organic/inorganic hybrid materials formed by cohydrolizing a metal alkoxide sol with a bis(trialkoxysilane) encapped organic compounds. Nanotubes render these otherwise insulating coatings conductive (10 Ohms/square). These nanocomposite coatings offer the ease of use, and toughness, of organic polymer based coatings, with the increased stability to temperature (450 degrees C) and environment that ceramic and metal coatings offer. Beyond ESD protection for satellites, these coatings will find use as conductive electrodes for solar photovoltaic cells, sensor arrays, and terrestrial application on aircraft transparencies, and flat panel displays. This technology will provide environmentally stable ESD monolayer coating while protecting the surface from AO and mechanical damage. Commercial applications include flat panel displays, static free optical coating on glass and plastic lenses. Addition space based uses include; photovoltaic cell electrodes and sensors.