NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S3.02-9921
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Thermally Conductive Tape Based on Carbon Nanotube Array

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Atlas Scientific
1367 Camino Robles Way
San Jose, CA 95120 - 4925
(408) 507-0906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Maddocks
1415 Engineering Drive, Rm 1339A
Madison, WI 53706 - 1607
(608) 265-4246

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future NASA missions require thermal control systems that can accommodate large changes in ambient temperature. The two essential aspects of an effective thermal interface material (TIM) are high compliance and high thermal conductivity. Thermal interface materials (TIM) are often used to fill the cavities between mating surfaces to increase the thermal conductance across the interface. Traditional TIMs are polymer based composites such as thermal grease or paste. The nature of polymer matrices makes them inapplicable under vacuum and in a cryogenic environment. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a flexible thermally-conductive tape. The proposed innovation forms a versatile, vacuum-proof, thermally conductive tape. The tape is pliable and should conform to the contours of the interface. Carbo nanotubes bridge the two mating surfaces, thereby effectively conducting heat across the interface.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Thermal management is a critical aspect of various high power devices for future NASA missions. The energy generated by electronic devices dissipates into the ambient environment through heat sinks or heat spreaders. Effective heat conduction requires good thermal contact between heat sinks and electronic packages. Thermal contact resistance arises from the microscopic lack of planarity and micro-roughness of the mating surfaces. When two surfaces are brought into contact, the actual contact area is usually much smaller than the apparent contact area, resulting in a thermal barrier at the interface. The problem becomes even more severe in vacuum and low temperature environments. Therefore, high thermal conductivity and vacuum compatible thermal interface materials are crucial to thermal control of electronic devices in space applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed thermal interface technology is believed to be applicable to many uses in thermal management. It may be used at the interface between electronic devices and heat spreaders, to attach thermometry, heaters, etc. Being electrically conductive to some extent, it could also be used to form electrical connections. Further, it could be used to quickly attach items without the use of adhesives and to attach items in locations that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve. Avoiding adhesives also eliminates the outgassing of various vapors over time.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Multifunctional/Smart Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50