NanoDynamics, Inc. (NanoDynamics) has received a two-year, $733,000 Phase II small business innovation research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Army. The grant is to continue the development of nano-scale materials for use in defensive obscurants. The grant, awarded in November 2008, will specifically fund second-stage activities in the development and fabrication of highly conductive, high aspect ratio nanomaterials for military infrared obscurants.

“Our initial work, conducted jointly with Clarkson University, focused on the development of the ideal absorptive systems and scaling up for field testing,” said Alan Rae, vice president of technology at NanoDynamics. “Phase I initiatives demonstrated the technical feasibility of the obscurants material as well as the first steps in the pilot scale process. As we move into Phase II, our work will be concentrated on the further optimization of material properties and scaling processes to produce pilot demonstration quantities.”

With an end goal of producing materials with an ideal size and shape for use in advanced infrared countermeasure devices, the project is slated to continue through 2010. Phase II work will include pilot batch scale-up, as well as development of a characterization strategy and methods for monitoring physical attributes during the manufacturing process. It will also focus on developing and demonstrating methods for directly forming suspended obscurant particles suitable for dissemination testing, and identifying direct-form manufacturing methods for full-scale countermeasure devices.

Other anticipated commercial uses for the materials developed within this project include electronics applications, such as printable, flexible circuits used in displays and sensors.