A Viable Method for Metal Nano-Coating of Graphite Microfibers
Presently U.S. Army is intersted in developing metal nano-coated graphite (carbon) micro/nanofibers that can be used for infrared threat sensor countermeasures and other military applications, because they are excellent attenuators in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The metal nano-coatings around carbon micro/nanofibers are desired to have high electrical conductivity, be with the thickness less than 100 nm, and simultaneously can be produced at a low cost. However, there is not a cost-effective processing method available that is capable of depositing a metal nano-coating meeting the above characteristics. In this SBIR project, Aegis Technology proposes to develop a cost-effective, scalable coating process capable of producing highly conductive metal nano-coating for carbon micro/nanofibers. In the accomplished Phase I, Aegis has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed approach, identified the direction for further improvement and optimization. Based upon the findings and success of the Phase I, in this the Phase II project, Aegis will: (1) fully develop and demonstrate a novel metal nano-coating technology and the resultant highly conductive metal-coated carbon micro/nanofibers including carbon nanotubes; (2) further identify the underlying technical issues that govern the fabrication and performance of the metal nano-coated carbon micro/nanofibers and address the technical issues related with process optimizations and scaling up; (3) use this knowledge to produce metal nano-coated carbon micro/nanofibers with excellent extinction coefficient in infrared frequencies as required by Army; and (4) implement technology transfer for potential mass production. In addition, we will also address the issues related with dispersion, packing and dissemination of metal nano-coated carbon micro/nanofibers, which are essential to transfer this technology into potential field tests and subsequent military applications.
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