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Air Force researchers have developed Interface-controlled nano-materials (ICNM) for use in a variety of applications. This invention offers unprecedented opportunities to inexpensively fabricate bulk quantities of materials that currently exist only as small research samples. A key feature is extensive abilities to design, control, and optimize the composition and properties of materials by focusing on the interfaces, instead of the nanograins. ICNM can be used on interfaces between the nanophase grains, between the nanophase particle and a coating, between coating layers on particles, or between coated nanophase particles.
The ICNM approach enables the low-cost bulk fabrication of materials that were previously only produced via expensive techniques such as electro- or electroless deposition, physical vapor deposition, laser ablation, or magnetron sputtering. ICNM can also achieve unique gains in high-temperature oxidation and reaction stability. The approach places nanoparticle and coating materials in intimate contact with one another and minimizes grain growth up to near theoretical density. The result is improved thermal shock resistance. Applications of ICNM include such diverse fields as fast ion conductors, magnetostrictive materials, superconductors, and environmental barrier materials.
This US patent 9,162,931 is related to US patents 8,475,705; 8,617,456; and 9,120,245. The ‘931 patent is the process of synthesizing the nanomaterial with controlled interfaces. The ‘705 patent embodies the continuous or batch process for fabricating the nanolaminate material. The ‘456 adds an annealing step to the batch process at an elevated temperature to cause atomic rearrangement and a tunable degree of coherency at the interfaces. The ‘456 also claims the use of nanopowders from a group consisting of metallic, ceramic and semiconductors. The ‘245 specifies the use of high aspect ratio anisotropic nanolaminates with defined size and shape to create long parts such as tubes or rods.
- Low Cost bulk production: Enables the inexpensive manufacture of materials previously available only in small, research-size quantities
- Precise material engineering: Fine control over interfaces yields excellent design precision and optimization of the final composition and its traits
- High performance: Excellent thermal shock resistance and high-temperature oxidation and reaction stability
- US patent 9,162,931 is available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Air Force researchers