NER: Improving the Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes in a Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Polymer Composite by Dry-Coating

Project: Research project

Project Details


This grant uses a new material processing technique to minimize compositional variations during the thin film processing and evaluates precipitate growth as a function of crystallization procedures. The new material processing technique is to utilize unbalanced magnetron sputtering source either alone or in combination with the patented concept of using a heated target developed by our group.

The proposed project has three primary technical objectives. The first objective is to design and fabricate the unbalanced magnetron sputtering source and use this source to produce a uniform and stoichiometric NiTi thin film. The second objective is to investigate and understand the physical and mechanical properties NiTi thin film developed by the new processing technique, and finally the third objective is to use this material for the manufacture of 3-D NiTi thin film for medical applications.

The intellectual merit of this grant is to provide knowledge on unbalanced magnetron sputtering in the area of shape memory alloys. The research will solve the major challenge of composition control across the film thickness and over large surfaces in the field of magnetron sputtering. The NiTi thin film produced in this program will have uniform composition and stoichiometry that of the target used. Different material characterization techniques are being employed to determine the physical and mechanical properties of the NiTi thin film. In addition, this grant will provide the knowledge of uniform deposition of NiTi on tubular or solid surfaces and of 3-D NiTi thin film structure. This deposition technique will be suitable for producing NiTi tubes with wall thickness smaller than 25 microns.

The broader impact of the grant arises from the development of a biomedical device manufactured from this novel material processing technique. Namely, in this era of minimal invasive surgeries, demand for micro-size devices is increasing and biomedical devices made out of thin film 3-D structure will meet the medical expectations.

Effective start/end date9/15/072/28/09


  • National Science Foundation: $40,991.00


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