ABSTRACTS-Phase II (Continued)
Topic 20¾Electrical and Communication Systems

302. Passivation of III-V Devices
TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc.
2300 N.E. Brookwood Pkwy.
Hillsboro, OR 97124
tel: 503-615-9000; fax: 503-615-8900
Principal Investigator: Andrew N. MacInnes
President: Steven J. Sharp
NSF Grant No. 9422662; Amount: $299,597.70

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project addresses the provision of a passivation coating that may be applied to semiconductor laser diode optical facets. This research will extend the Phase I observations of enhanced operation of 980 nm quantum well lasers in elucidating the nature of the passivation imparted to laser diode facets by cubic-gallium sulfide for lifetime and high-power applications. Laser facet temperatures will be monitored by Raman spectroscopy and failure modes evaluated by chemical and structural analyses. Lasers studied will be master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) and unstable resonator 980 nm quantum well structures. Process development of the MOCVD process will complement the laser facet coating and testing.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The research will have immediate impact on 980 nm laser diode applications including optical amplifier applications. This technology will also be readily transferable to other passivation areas including HBTs and LEDs.

303. Waveguide Bimodal Launcher for Fiber-Optic Security Link
MJC Optics
P.O. Box 6393
Malibu, CA 90265
tel: 310-457-3704; fax: 310-454-4264
Principal Investigator: Dr. Charles K. Asawa
President: Mike H. Asawa
NSF Grant No. 9423872; Amount: $262,889

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop a new intrusion alarmed system for multimode graded-index optical fiber communication links, where data are transmitted in the fundamental mode and monitor signals are transmitted in high order modes. During Phase I, a new waveguide bimodal launcher was successfully made and tested. Phase II will focus on reduction of opto-electronic noise and extending the capability of the intrusion-alarmed graded-index optical fiber system.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications are expected in very high security, high data rate optical fiber communication links.

304. The Photochemical Generation of Planar Waveguides in Sol-Gel Glasses
Physical Optics Corp.
Research & Development Div.
20600 Gramercy Pl., Suite 103
Torrance, CA 90501
tel: 310-320-3088
Principal Investigator: Edgar Mendoza
President: Joanna Jannson, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9528490; Amount: $299,993

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a novel technology for the fabrication of passive and active integrated optic devices in glasses at a considerably reduced cost. The technology is based on direct photolithographic writing of integrated optic devices onto photoactive sol-gel glasses. The proposed technology will allow POC to enhance its presence in the rapidly expanding market of fiber-optic network components. The goal of the Phase II project will be to embark on the development and characterization of extremely simple integrated optic structures such as 1 x 2 and 2 x 2 splitters and directional couplers for use in passive optical telecommunication networks. These devices will be produced by direct lithographic writing onto photosensitive sol-gel glasses. Both single-mode and multimode couplers with a wide range of splitting and coupling ratios (10 % to 90 %) and losses on the order of 0.1 dB/cm will be fabricated. Single-mode IOSs will be fabricated for lz of 1.3 and/or 1.5 mm, and multimode IOSs for 62.5- and 100-mm core fibers. In addition to developing the integrated optic chips, POC will set another objective: to develop technology that will allow automated coupling of IO chips to signal-carrying optical fibers using laser fusion. Development of this fiber-coupling technique will expedite the transition from R&D to manufacture. IO chips connecterized to optical fibers will be encapsulated in polymer resin packages to protect the devices from mechanical and environmental perturbations. At the end of Phase II, alpha-test prototypes will be distributed to potential partners and customers to generate test data and to guide product introduction and Phase III commercialization. Phase II will demonstrate alpha and beta test prototypes of simple integrated optic devices and will solidify our knowledge of the fundamental technology required for future development of more complex structures such as n x n splitters, wavelength division multiplexers, switches, lasers, and amplifiers, all integrated on a monolithic optical chip.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The proposed project will lead to a better understanding of the sol-gel process for the fabrication of passive integrated optic components. The technique will reduce the cost, optical loss, and complexity of fabrication of integrated optic devices in glass. Potential markets include passive optical telecommunication networks, telephony, CATV, video distribution loops, high bandwidth digital communication, analog signal transmission, sensors, environmental monitoring, and medical diagnosis.

305. Tunable, Narrowband, Long-Wave Infrared Light Source
181 Legrand Ave.
Northvale, NJ 07647
tel: 201-767-1910
Principal Investigator: Thomas A. Caughey
President: Warren Ruderman
NSF Grant No. 9528553; Amount: $299,859

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is designed to produce a narrowband, widely tunable infrared light source of wavelengths in the 3 m m to 12 mm wavelength region. This spectral region is devoid of a powerful, broadly tunable commercial laser light source, even though it is a region rich in the molecular signatures of species important in environmental and basic research studies.

In Phase I, it was shown that it was possible to make a narrowband, widely tunable optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based on zinc germanium diphosphide, ZnGeP2.

The goal of Phase II is to construct a prototype source with higher power, narrower bandwidth, and wider wavelength tunability. Increased power involves improvement in coatings, more efficient extraction of energy from the OPO, and amplification in an optical parametric amplifier (OPA). Producing a narrower linewidth from the OPO involves optimization of the cavity parameters and using a narrower linewidth pump. Longer wavelengths will be generated by alteration of the oscillator parameters and by regeneration of the "idler" wavelengths in an OPA. In addition to the bandwidth and wavelength of the generated beam, the divergence will be characterized. Attention also will be directed to the pump laser requirements of a practical OPO/OPA system.

It is expected that the Phase II work will result in a prototype system that generates energies of a few millijoules per pulse of tunable long-wave infrared light in a low-divergence beam with a narrow spectral bandwidth.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Tunable laser radiation in the 3-12 mm spectral range is particularly useful for environmental studies and atmospheric remote sensing for mobile LIDAR systems for meteorology measurements, environmental studies, and air pollution monitoring, and for fundamental chemical investigation.

306. Rectangular Discharge CO2 Laser
QSource, Inc.
91 Prestige Park Circle
East Hartford, CT 06108
tel: 860-291-0120
Principal Investigator: Peter P. Chenausky
President: Peter P. Chenausky
NSF Grant No. 9531282; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project proposes to complete the fabrication of, and demonstrate, a prototype air-cooled, sealed-off, 33 cm gain-length CO2 laser having an average output power goal of 40 W and a peak output goal of 1 kW. To achieve this output, the laser will use an innovative excitation geometry that generates a rectangular cross-section transverse RF discharge between a pair of narrow, low-area, widely spaced electrodes. The slender electrodes are held apart by two large-area, closely spaced ceramic sidewalls that function to collisionally transfer heat from the discharge and to guide the intracavity mode in the small transverse dimension. The widely spaced, low-capacitance electrode geometry permits efficient RF discharge pumping with 27 or 13 MHz excitation that moderates standing-wave effects to realize longitudinal discharge uniformity without the use of intra- or extra-vacuum inductive elements. This unique excitation geometry forces the gas discharge into a shape that naturally suppresses the tendency of the discharge to transition into the well-known, but undesirable, gamma or high-current mode of operation.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The specific problem addressed is the generation of the high peak and modest average output powers needed for emerging medical-dental procedures using a simple, low-intravacuum part count, low-cost laser device approach.

307. ZnSe Substrates and Blue-Green Laser Diodes
Fermionics Corp.
4555 Runway St.
Simi Valley, CA 93063
tel: 805-582-0155
Principal Investigator: Dr. Muren Chu
President: Dr. C. C. Wang
NSF Grant No. 9531283; Amount: $299,726

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project addresses the critical substrate issue in the development of ZnSe-based blue-green LEDs and laser diodes. Recently, there has been much interest in the development of ZnSe-based LEDs and laser diodes due to the tremendous market potential for their applications in displays, electronics, communications, and information storage. Among all the semiconductors, ZnSe is the only one that has been used to produce blue-green lasers. However, the lifetime of the blue lasers has become a critical issue. It is believed that the cause of the insufficient lifetime is the lack of device quality, lattice-matched ZnSe substrates.

In Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of growing high-quality ZnSe crystals with rocking curve FWHM as low as 27 arc sec. In Phase II, we will use an innovative technique (PPCVPT) to grow ZnSe crystals. Scientifically, we will demonstrate that p-type ZnSe can be produced by minimizing the native defects. Commercially, we will produce two-inch ZnSe for producing ZnSe lasers. ZnSe laser diodes will also be produced in this project with the assistance of MBE capability at Columbia University. The reliability of ZnSe lasers grown on ZnSe substrates will be tested. Testing results will be used to improve the quality of the ZnSe substrates. In Phase III, ZnSe substrates and laser diodes will be commercialized.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The ZnSe crystals and substrates produced by the PPCVPT technique will be used for the manufacture of ZnSe-based blue-green LEDs and laser diodes. These light sources will have a tremendous market in electronics, communication, and information storage. ZnSe crystals will also have a market in UV detectors and modulators.

308. Deposition of Large-Area Flat Panel Displays Based on Organic Light Emitting Diodes
PD-LD, Inc.
209 Wall St.
Princeton, NJ 08540
tel: 609-924-7979
Principal Investigator: Dr. Vladimir S. Ban
President: Dr. Vladimir S. Ban
NSF Grant No. 9612378; Amount: $300,000

In Phase I we successfully developed a new method for the large-area, low-cost growth of organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) using our patented process of Organic Vapor Phase Deposition (OVPD). We have demonstrated the potential of OVPD by producing an efficient green Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED), consisting of OVPD deposited TDP and vacuum-deposited Alq3 films. This represents the first step in large batch processing of "small molecule" and possibly polymer-based OLEDs, devices of great importance for emissive color flat panel displays.

In Phase II, we plan to design and build a radically new prototype reactor capable of deposition of OLED materials on large-area substrates. This type of reactor can be scaled up to produce large-area, full-color flat panel displays in a continuous manner. In this project we will shall combine the extensive OLED-materials expertise of Professor S. Forrest’s group at Princeton University with the reactor and process design expertise of Dr. Vladimir S. Ban at PD-LD, Inc.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The display market is enormous (over $20 billion/year). The technology we propose is unique in its approach to producing low-cost OLED-based flat panel displays in high volume. We believe that the commercial impact of this project is potentially extremely large.

309. Improving Neural Network Reliability for Dynamic System Modeling and Control Optimization through the Use of Confidence Measures
Unica Technologies, Inc.
55 Old Bedford Rd.
Lincoln, MA 01773
tel: 781-259-5900
Principal Investigator: Mr. Yuchun Lee
President: Mr. Yuchun Lee
NSF Grant No. 9625725; Amount: $223,833

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project continues research from Phase I and develops a prototype confidence-estimator module that can be integrated with real-world neural-network applications. Reliability of neural nets is affected by (1) input novelty, (2) data consistency, and (3) time-varying system dynamics. Confidence measures can gauge network reliability by indicating when a neural network’s output should be trusted and when periodic retraining should occur in slow time-varying dynamic systems. Confidence-generation algorithms complement virtually all neural nets and can help their integration into production environments. Unica proposes to develop confidence algorithms addressing each of the reliability factors as well as a method for scaling and combining confidence measures to generate a single probabilistic value. The algorithms will be tested on data from an electrolysis chemical process, metal smelting process, polymer formulation process control, and an artificial control optimization problem for supply-chain inventory management. The principal investigator, Yuchun Lee, and the project consultant, Dr. John Tsitsiklis, provide the perfect combination of real-world application exposure and theoretical background to complete Phase II. Once a confidence-estimator module is developed, Unica plans to integrate it into its own line of pattern recognition software. In addition, Unica will license this module to other neural-network companies and OEMs for use in embedded products. Successful results are expected to have great commercial potential for incorporation into neural-network-based applications across all industries.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: A confidence-estimator module potentially can be used in virtually every real-world neural-network solution to improve both acceptance and accuracy performance, including those in process control, financial, retail, insurance, and imaging. The advantages of decreased cost and time-to-market will make Unica’s confidence-estimator module extremely attractive to the rapidly expanding two to three hundred companies currently selling neural-network-based products.

310. Infrared Detectors Using Micro-Cantilevers
Consultec Scientific, Inc.
725 Pellissippi Pkwy., Suite 110
Knoxville, TN 37932-3300
tel: 423-675-4333 x15
e-mail: hunter@consultec.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Scott R. Hunter
President: D. Stephen Rector
NSF Grant No. 9627174; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will result in the development of new types of infrared detectors utilizing very recent developments in microcantilever technology, where microcantilevers with dimensions in the 10-200 mm range are routinely used in scanning force microscopy (SFM) to detect forces in the range of 10-12 - 10-9 N. Such devices can be mass produced using standard semiconductor manufacturing methods, and specially tailored to our particular application using micromachining techniques. Using the bimetallic effect, geometrical optimization, and infrared absorbing coatings, uncooled microcantilever sensors can be designed that are capable of measuring temperature changes of less than 10-4 K, and can also be used in infrared imaging applications over the wavelength range 1-20 mm. During Phase I of this project, we constructed and tested a working laboratory version of a temperature and IR sensor, using both optical and piezoresistive techniques to measure the cantilever bending due to thermal induced stress. The piezoresistive technique was shown to have an order of magnitude higher sensitivity for detecting optical radiation than the optical sensing technique, and the attendant alignment and electronic amplification requirements needed to optimize the output response from the sensor were considerably simpler than those for the optical detection technique. During Phase II of the project, we will optimize the performance of the infrared temperature sensor using the piezoresistive technique and build various engineering prototypes of this instrument. Phase III will involve commercialization of this technology through fabrication and sales of various stand-alone instruments specifically designed for given IR sensing and temperature measurement applications.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications of infrared detectors based on microcantilevers are numerous since these detectors are extremely sensitive and easily miniaturized and can be readily mass produced. Medical applications include noncontact thermometry and whole-body thermal imaging for cancer detection. High-sensitivity temperature measurement and IR imaging capabilities are required in the aerospace industry, by the military, and for night vision and security applications. Temperature control in manufacturing and machines are also possible applications.

311. An Optical Data Processing Technique for Communication Switch Node
Physical Optics Corp.
Applied Technology Div.
2545 West 237th St., Suite B
Torrance, CA 90505
tel: 310-530-1416
Principal Investigator: Freddie Lin, Ph.D.
President: Joanna Jannson, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9629424; Amount: $299,996

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is to develop a novel optical self-routing technique for data-switching applications in an optically interconnected network. The optical self-routing technique is based on Physical Optics Corp.’s (POC’s) holographic optical associate memory (HOAM) technology. The global association, high processing speed, and simplicity of the HOAM concept offers significant improvements over conventional electronic and photonic data-switching techniques, in both data rate and in the number of available channels in a self-routing switching node. In Phase I, we constructed a complete, small-scale optical self-routing interconnected network based on the HOAM technique. The network successfully demonstrated the unique advantages of the HOAM and the proposed self-routing switching node for use in optically interconnected networks. In Phase II, the full-scale design/packaging development of the HOAM and its self-routing switching node will be completed. A Phase II testbed will be designed, constructed, and demonstrated. The commercialization effort for the developed technology will also be initiated in Phase II.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Federal and commercial applications of the high-performance self-routing optical interconnect network include C3I networks, tactical information exchange systems, distributed computer-to-computer networks, multimedia communication, and the National Information Infrastructure.

312. Strained Layer Avalanche Photodiodes for Long-Wavelength Applications
Sensors Unlimited, Inc.
3490 U.S. Rte. 1, Bldg. 12
Princeton, NJ 08540
tel: 609-520-0610
Principal Investigator: Dr. Gregory H. Olsen
President: Dr. Gregory H. Olsen
NSF Grant No. 9629778; Amount: $300,000

We propose to design, optimize, and deliver a high-performance avalanche photodiode (APD) for use in the 1.0-2.2 mm spectral region as a high-performance telecommunications and LIDAR receiver. The innovation consists of the use of strained epitaxial layers combined with multi-quantum-well (MQW) InGaAsP/InP layers. This strained layer distorts the valence band of the multiplying (gain) region to reduce the field at which ionization occurs. This reduces device operating voltage and also decreases the ratio of hole/electron ionization coefficients (compared to the unstrained case), and thus decreases noise. In Phase I we fabricated and tested devices with tensile and compressive strain. Feasibility of concept was conclusively demonstrated with measured avalanche gains > 100 and hole/electron gain ratios of 0.2-0.4. In Phase II, we will fabricate and optimize a reliable planar structure for light response out to 1.65 mm that realizes the advantages of low voltage (10-20V), low noise operation, high gain (>50), and high yield. We will then apply these concepts to the InAsP/InGaAs materials system, along with the use of ternary InAsP substrates, to achieve low-noise avalanche gain at 2.2 mm. Professor Stephen R. Forrest (Princeton University) will consult.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: A high-performance, low-cost infrared detector for fiber-optic communications, eye-safe range-finding, and spectroscopy. This device would also be viable for wavelengths beyond 2 mm, which would open up other commercial possibilities such as gas sensing and windshear detection. APDs are not yet widely used in commercial long-wavelength fiber-optic communication systems because of their high-noise properties. Successful completion of a Phase II program would enable us to commercialize a low-noise device, which would open up this market, presently estimated at over $50 million per year.

313. In-Line Process Monitoring and Control for Poly-Silicon Formation inside Cluster Tools
Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church St., P.O. Box 380379
East Hartford, CT 06138-0379
tel: 860-528-9806 x103
Principal Investigator: Dr. Peter R. Solomon
President: Dr. Peter R. Solomon
NSF Grant No. 9631216; Amount: $299,944

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) instrumentation for in-line monitoring and control of poly-silicon and dielectric fabrications processes within a cluster tool. Advanced Fuel Research (AFR) has developed an FT-IR based method to determine poly-silicon and dielectric film thicknesses, and free-carrier concentrations and scattering rates of doped poly films. The technique is adaptable to multilayered and patterned samples, and the measurement and analysis can be performed in real-time, while the wafer is in the cooldown chamber of the cluster tool. Field tests in Phase I on a cluster tool at Texas Instruments established the capability to measure doped and undoped poly films, relatively thick (~250 nm) field oxides, thin (~10 nm) gate oxides, and patterned wafers.

Working in a collaborative Phase II program, AFR, On-Line Technologies, Inc. (On-Line), and ADE Corp. will (1) develop and test a refined in-line FT-IR process monitor on the cluster tool at Texas Instruments; (2) develop robust automated software for analysis of multilayered poly/dielectric films on blanket and patterned wafers; (3) develop a high-speed wafer mapping system for measuring uniformity of dielectric and poly properties; and (4) develop process monitoring, optimization, and control software for practical applications in semiconductor fabrication. AFR and On-Line will develop the software and analysis methodology, On-Line will develop the FT-IR hardware, ADE will supply wafer mapping and handling technology, and On-Line and ADE will perform field testing of the instrumentation. TI and Applied Materials will be unofficial collaborators in the program providing access to cluster deposition tools, samples, and sample characterization. The technology will be commercialized by On-Line and ADE.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This project will result in rugged multi-applications instrumentation for in-line monitoring and control of a wide range of fabrication processes performed in a cluster tool. This project can increase integrated circuits (IC) production yield, eliminate scrapped batches due to undetected out-of-spec wafers, reduce manpower requirements, and reduce the time between start-up and high-yield production. The wafer mapping tool will also be useful for quality control of many other IC fabrication processes such as epi and ion implantation.

314. Integrated GMR Solid State Relay
Nonvolatile Electronics, Inc.
11409 Valley View Rd.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
tel: 612-996-1607
Principal Investigator: James M. Daughton
President: James M. Daughton
NSF Grant No. 9634267; Amount: $299,996

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will demonstrate the integration of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) isolation devices with control and power electronics, which will result in a high-performance integrated solid state relay (SSR). Current SSR technology suffers from several technical drawbacks, including large relative size, slow switching speeds, and wear-out mechanisms due mainly to the technical limitations of opto-isolation technology. Opto-isolation construction precludes integration with power electronics, due to IC process incompatibility, is relatively slow, and can wear out (LED failure). In addition to demonstrating a fully integrated device, NVE’s Phase II work will concentrate on power electronics research, with the objective of reducing the relative size of the device for a given power level.

The Phase II project will be a continuation of the successful hybrid demonstrations of Phase I. The emphasis of the Phase II program will be on low-voltage solid state relays having blocking voltages of less than 60V and on-current capacities of 1A or less. In addition, various contact resistance devices under 1 ohm will be pursued.

The complete integration of GMR-isolation, control, and optimized power electronics will allow the design of a GMR-isolated SSR that will be smaller, faster and more reliable than any existing opto-isolated SSR, thus allowing GMR-isolated SSRs to function in applications where present-day SSRs would not be suitable.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications include SSRs, opto-isolator and reed switch replacements for the computer, and the telecommunications, consumer electronics, and automotive industries.

315. Actively Controlled Chemical Mechanical Polishing Process
Endpoint Technologies, Inc.
825 Buckley Rd.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
tel: 805-782-5444; fax: 805-541-6425
e-mail: endpointec@aol.com
Principal Investigator: Wallace T. Tang
President: Wallace T. Tang
NSF Grant No. 9704031; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project aims to improve the process uniformity of the chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) planarization process. The proposed work centers on real-time process optimizations based on real-time film thickness measurements.

316. Neural Network Methods for Advanced System Identification
Accurate Automation Corp.
7001 Shallowford Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37421
tel: 423-894-4646; fax: 423-894-4645
e-mail: marketing@accurate-automation.com
Principal Investigator: Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D.;
Karl Mathia, Ph.D.
President: Robert M. Pap
NSF Grant No. 9704067; Amount: $300,000

At the end of Phase II, Accurate Automation will have developed, tested, and demonstrated a suite of novel neural network-based System Identification (SI) methods. These SI capabilities will be designed for continuous, non-linear dynamic systems for which system control is either autonomous or designed to improve operated handling qualities. The SI capabilities will apply to a wide range of operating regimes as well as being able to adapt to slow changes in the system being modeled. Ontogenetic neural networks, capable of adapting their structure to most effectively model a given situation, will be used in creating this unique SI capability. Adaptive critic methods will also be used in developing and refining the SI methods. A selected SI method will be used to model flight dynamics for a simulation of AAC’s, Low-Observable Flight Test Environment (LoFLYTEä) experimental aircraft.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Application areas include flight control, process control, and financial forecasting.

317. Low Energy X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry Using a Polycapillary X-Ray Focusing Optic
X-Ray Optical Systems, Inc.
30 Corporate Circle
Albany, NY 12203
tel: 518-464-3334; fax: 518-464-3335
e-mail: qxiao@xos.com
Principal Investigator: Qi-Fan Xiao
President: David M. Gibson
NSF Grant No. 9704072; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a surface-sensitive low-energy-XRF instrument (LEXRF) to meet the thin film metrology needs prioritized in the National Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. The continued increase of device densities in silicon-based integrated circuits requires more deposition steps of thinner films, which in turn demands better metrology for process development and quality control.

During the Phase II program, a LEXRF instrument will be constructed that includes a polycapillary optic designed in Phase I to collect a large solid angle of X-rays and focus them onto a sample to increase the X-ray intensity by two orders of magnitude. The focused beam provides submillimeter spatial resolution in measuring various thin films important to the semiconductor industry. The last phase of the program will demonstrate the capabilities of the LEXRF system at a major semiconductor tool company.

The proposed LEXRF instrument will provide elemental and thickness analysis to identify defective thin-film deposition process at the earliest opportunity, thus avoiding the considerable financial loss associated with rejections at the end of the production line. The proposed LEXRF system will also provide feedback to fine-tune the deposition process on a continual basis to increase the production yield.

318. A Neuro-Dynamic Programming Approach to Stochastic Control

Unica Technologies, Inc.
55 Old Bedford Rd.
Lincoln, MA 01773
tel: 617-259-8887; fax: 617-259-4356
e-mail: unica@unica-usa.com
Principal Investigator: Mr. Yuchun Lee
President: Mr. Yuchun Lee
NSF Grant No. 9704090; Amount: $299,964

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project develops neuro-dynamic programming (NDP) methods to address a commercially important complex stochastic control problem-that of supply-chain management. The Phase I research successfully established that NDP algorithms could lead to significant savings over well-accepted heuristics on a class of supply chains that was used as a testbed. Unica proposes to further develop and streamline the methodology through the Phase II research. Algorithms will be generalized so that they apply to a very broad class of realistic supply chains, including manufacturing and distribution networks. Performance on these new problems will be assessed through extensive experimentation and comparison with current state-of-the-art heuristics. The principal investigator, Yuchun Lee, along with an exceptional research team and two distinguished consultants, Professors Dimitri Bertsekas and John Tsitsiklis of MIT, provide the perfect combination of real-world application exposure, theoretical background, and commercial product development skills to make this project a great success. Once the NDP methodology is fully developed, Unica plans to implement and license NDP-based optimization modules for integration into the many supply-chain management products that are in widespread use.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: An improved approach for addressing the logistics of supply-chain management will be of great commercial interest to companies across all industries. Integration of the technology into existing commercial supply-chain management software products, which are widely used in manufacturing, can enhance the efficiency of numerous U.S. corporations. Furthermore, the general NDP methods developed in this research have a much broader potential scope. They can be used to address other complex stochastic control problems that arise in many areas of national importance, including process control, queuing and scheduling, and data network optimization.

Topic 21¾Design, Manufacture, and Industrial Innovation

319. Q-Switched Operation of Microchip Laser Composite Cavities

Micracor, Inc.
43 Nagog Park
Acton, MA 01720
tel: 508-263-1080
Principal Investigator: Dr. J. A. Keszenheimer
President: Jess L. Belser
NSF Grant No. 9300486 (9796148)
Amount: $295,044

Q-switching a laser is a practical means of producing short, high-intensity optical pulses. For some applications the physical size and robustness of the laser is an important consideration and in these cases Q-switched, composite-cavity, microchip lasers are highly desirable. Conventional laser technology uses discrete optical components that are subject to misalignment due to thermal cycling or vibration. Composite-cavity microchip laser technology eliminates the superfluous space present in conventional lasers, allowing the smallest possible package size for the laser.

Q-switched lasers can be designed to independently optimize peak power, pulse energy, power efficiency, or pulse width. The primary goal of our research will be to develop composite-cavity microchip lasers from a variety of laser materials that optimize these parameters. Phase II will provide data on performance tradeoffs that will enable Q-switched microchip lasers to be designed for a number of applications. Possible applications of Q-switched composite-cavity microchip lasers are materials processing (welding, soldering, ablation, etc.), laser range finding (topographic mapping, collision avoidance, optical time domain reflectivity, laser radar, etc.), and the generation of visible radiation via nonlinear frequency conversion (e.g., for optical recording).

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Materials processing: welding, soldering, ablation; laser range finding: topographic mapping, laser radar, OTDR, collision avoidance; nonlinear frequency conversion: optical recording.

320. Advanced Manufacturing Processing to Produce Economical CVD SiC Fiber Tow
Materials & Electrochemical Research (MER) Corp.
7960 South Kolb Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85711
tel: 520-574-1980
Principal Investigator: Dr. J. C. Withers
President: Dr. R. O. Loutfy
NSF Grant No. 9531219; $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project proposes to demonstrate producing CVD SiC fibers tow free of agglomeration/bridging between fibers with a strength ³ GPa that is 80% maintained at 1400°C with good creep resistance at a cost of less than 1/6 current SiC fiber tow. Current SiC fiber tow cost $300 to $2,000/lb., loses over 60% of its strength at 1200°C, has poor creep resistance, and is imported from Japan; nevertheless, it has spawned an advanced composites industry with a market value of about $1 billion. Previous attempts to utilize CVD, which is demonstrated to produce fibers with the required mechanical properties, to produce SiC fiber tow on graphite fiber tow substrates have not been successful due to agglomeration and bridging between fibers due to the CVD SiC deposition. The Phase I program demonstrated spreading of the graphite fiber tow substrate, which permitted producing SiC fiber tow free of agglomeration/bridging and with the necessary strength retention at high temperature and creep resistance at a projected cost 1/13th of current SiC fiber tow. The Phase II program will demonstrate continuous trouble-free operation of a system to produce SiC fiber tow, optimize all processing variables, produce multiple-pound quantities of SiC fiber tow, evaluate the SiC fiber tow in ceramic and metal composites, and establish the economics for production. It is anticipated that SiC fiber tow with a strength > 2.5 GPa with 80% retention at 1400° C and better creep resistance than any other SiC fiber will be produced at $16-50 lb.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: CVD SiC fiber tow, which has higher high-temperature strength retention and creep resistance than any other ceramic fiber tow and at 1/13th-1/6th the cost, has a plethora of applications in composites for energy conversion (heat exchangers, hot gas filters, porous and tubular radiant burners, reformers, waste incineration), fusion reactor components, gas turbine and internal combustion engine components, general aerospace structures, a variety of components in defense systems, and some sports equipment.

321. Synthesis of Nano WC/Co for Tools and Dies
Materials Modification, Inc.
2929 Eskridge Rd., P-1
Fairfax, VA 22031-2213
tel: 703-560-1371
Principal Investigator: Jacob J. Stiglich, Ph.D.
President: Donald A. Tapscott
NSF Grant No. 9531815; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a commercially viable nano-grained tungsten carbide composite for dies, cutting tools, drills and reamers, and drill bit insert applications. Phase I results were generally successful in that MMI demonstrated that 50-100 nm WC grains could be dispersed in a 6 wt% Co matrix by solution chemistry. The resulting powder, along with commercial "submicron" WC/ 6 wt% Co powders from three cutting tool companies, was consolidated by five different pressure-assisted processes. Four of them were "fast" (total process time three-ten minutes) and one-standard uniaxial hot pressing-was slow (three-hour process time). All of the processes densified all of the powders to 97% to 100% of theoretical density. Microhardness data were compared among the three commercial materials and MMI material, with MMI being the hardest at 2300 Vickers vs. 1600 to 1800 for the commercial materials.

In Phase II, MMI will accomplish the following objectives. Commercial viability will be established by working with three industrial partners, Teledyne Advanced Materials, Carmet, and Smith Tool. A WC/Co composition will be developed including grain growth inhibitors (such as VC), which will be suitable for extrusion and sintering while maintaining the WC grain size achieved in Phase I. Physical properties such as transverse rupture strength, fracture toughness, and wear resistance will be related to WC grain size and consolidation parameters. Cutting tools of various types will be fabricated by MMI and our partners for commercial evaluation.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: There are many wear parts, tool and die, and metal-cutting applications for commercial carbide materials. Besides single-point tools, there are miniature (down to 250 to 500 micron diameter) drills, reamers, etc., which are important for machining microcircuit boards.

322. Ion-Implanted Thin-Film Zinc Gallate Phosphors for Field Emission Displays
Spire Corp.
One Patriots Park
Bedford, MA 01730-2396
tel: 781-275-6000 x204
e-mail: whalverson@spirecorp.com
Principal Investigator: Ward Halverson
President: Roger G. Little
NSF Grant No. 9615987; Amount: $299,862

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will continue development of zinc gallate (ZnGa2O4) as a thin-film phosphor, and produce full-color faceplates by selective ion implantation of luminescence centers. Field emission displays (FEDs) based on cathodoluminescent phosphors are very promising alternatives to active matrix liquid crystal displays; however, conventional sulfide-based powder phosphors compromise FED performance due to their granular nature, current-saturation characteristics, and limited operating lifetime. Replacing powdered phosphors with sulfur-free, thin-film oxide materials can improve chromaticity, allow much finer definition, and increase phosphor lifetime, while reducing manufacturing costs.

Phase I research demonstrated bright red and green cathodoluminescence (CL) in sputter-deposited ZnGa2O4 that had been ion implanted with Eu and Mn; bright blue CL was found from "self-activated" (Ga-rich) zinc gallate films. Phase II will optimize phosphor preparation, ion implantation and annealing, and increase external luminous efficiency by minimizing light-guiding in the thin-film phosphor. Metalorganic chemical vapor deposition of ZnGa2O4 will be compared to sputter-deposition of the thin-film phosphor host. A wider range of activator and co-activator ions and annealing schedules will be investigated. Multicolor phosphor faceplates will be fabricated and demonstrated in an operating FED device. Commercialization will proceed through direct participation of a major industrial consumer of flat panel displays in the Phase II technical effort.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Flat, field emission displays with high luminance, wide color gamut, high electrical efficiency, and long operating life will find applications in computer terminals, laptop computers, instrument panels, navigational aids, and consumer electronics from cellular telephones to television sets.

323. Factory-in-the-Computerã
Pritsker Corp.
1305 Cumberland Ave.
West Lafayette, IN 47906-0413
tel: 317-471-6505
Principal Investigator: A. Alan B. Pritsker
President: A. Alan B. Pritsker
NSF Grant No. 9623740; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Project will build the Factory-in-the-Computer, abbreviated by FÞC, which provides information to improve the management of a company’s value-added chain. Various manufacturing managers can utilize the FÞC to improve their understanding of the performance implications of manufacturing-related business process changes as a result of customer pressures.

Corporate needs, not technology innovation, will drive the design and development of the FÞC. To accomplish this, a generic manufacturing company has been developed that provides a classification of business data and decision processes related to the capabilities of the FÞ C. The classification system provides a means to identify business processes and to build example problems demonstrating how they will be resolved in the context of the generic manufacturing company. Architectural models of the generic manufacturing company will be built and then used to define a roadmap relative to the procedures for marketing and selling the FÞC.

The technical developments required for the FÞC have been identified and the necessary development tasks are included as research activities for Phase II. At the conclusion of Phase II, reference models will be available for describing applications of the FÞC; templates for the marketing and sales procedures related to the FÞC will be available; and a prototype FÞC will have been built that demonstrates the FÞC’s capabilities to satisfy the needs of management in the manufacturing systems market.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Today’s companies are universally committed to programs aimed at improving their manufacturing practices. This commitment has created a software market that AMR estimates at $2.3 billion per year. With the right sales and distribution channels, the FÞC could easily be the dominant product in this market because it directly relates manufacturing change to the financial improvement of a company.

324. Triaxial Force Sensing for Automated Manufacturing Bonneville Scientific, Inc.
P.O. Box 9497
Salt Lake City, UT 84109
tel: 801-273-7517
Principal Investigator: Allen R. Grahn
President: Allen R. Grahn
NSF Grant No. 9627270; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project takes a crucial step toward making manufacturing more flexible by reducing or eliminating the need for specialized end-effectors in many applications. This will be achieved by endowing general-purpose end-effectors with triaxial force-sensing arrays. Information from these arrays can be used to facilitate object grasping, manipulation, and slip detection and correction, and to increase productivity and product quality through the monitoring and feedback controlling of these forces during the robot task cycle. In Phase I, we established the feasibility of the proposed triaxial force-sensing concept and were able to greatly simplify sensor construction and to make the sensor more robust and more economical to fabricate.

In Phase II of this project, a small, high-density prototype triaxial force-sensor array will be designed and fabricated for use on robot end-effectors. Rubbers for use in the sensor’s pad will be extensively evaluated. Support electronics for the force sensor array will be designed, fabricated, and integrated into the existing electronics for Bonneville Scientific’s uni-axial tactile sensor system. System software will be developed for operating the sensor and displaying the normal and shear force data. Once the triaxial force sensor system is fully operational, its performance will be evaluated.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Arrays will find use in flexible manufacturing, industrial automation, telerobotics, tire tread testing, foot force distribution, gait analysis, development of handles on sporting goods, industrial tools, and surgical tools. Single-element sensors will be used in computer cursor control, as accelerometers, and in triaxial forceplates.

325. Development and Scaleup of the "Electron Jet" Jet Vapor Deposition Source
Jet Process Corp.
24 Science Park
New Haven, CT 06511
tel: 203-777-6000
Principal Investigator: Dr. Bret L. Halpern
Acting President: Richard E. Hart
NSF Grant No. 9703963; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will enhance the capabilities of the "electron jet," or "e-jet," thin-film deposition source. The E-jet is a versatile source for the jet vapor deposition (JVD) process. JVD uses supersonic "jets in low vacuum" to deposit metals, semiconductors, oxides, and nitrides in alloy, multicomponent, multilayer, and doped structures. JVD is a low-cost, environmentally clean process with economic promise in semiconductor integrated circuits (IC), metal strip coating, protective layers, and optics. The e-jet can vaporize any metal and deposit films at high rate, and its high plasma ion density enables low-energy, high-flux ion bombardment. Deposition rate and ion bombardment are critical to various applications. This project will optimize e-jet metal throughput and ion density in order to maximize deposition rate, extend source life, and control film properties. Phase II will conduct mass spectrometer studies of metal atom clustering (a rate limiter), investigate hydrogen atom chemical energy deposition, develop a high-rate powder-feet e-jet, and investigate e-jet deposition of silicon nitride for gate dielectrics and copper for trench fill.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications are expected in metal strip coating of electrical interconnects, silicon nitride deposition for semiconductor IC circuit gate dielectrics, and protective thermal barrier coatings, such as in turbine blades.

326. Web-based Machinability Process CAM Suite
Microprof, Inc.
2004 South Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61802
tel: 217-333-9844; fax: 217-244-7757
e-mail: mp@netsights.com
Principal Investigator: Sridhar V. Iyer
President: Mythili Sridhar
NSF Grant No. 9704188; Amount: $299,886

The proposed research will demonstrate the feasibility of a World Wide Web and physical mechanistic model-based machining-process-planning CAM suite. The research effort will focus on the development of robust process-planning modules that cater to the needs of the machine tool industry. A reliable security scheme will also be developed to offer adequate protection for the transmission and storing of sensitive design data. An innovative feature of the research effort is the availability of the proposed system on the Internet as well as corporate Intranets. The proposed system will also be able to link floor personnel in small- and medium-sized machine shops with design and research engineers in large enterprises. In addition, the research effort will focus on the development of an adequate on-line, self-paced training facility with extensive design and analysis examples, applications, and utilization notes.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: A commercial pay-per-use process-planning CAM suite service and a modified version for use on corporate Intranets will be developed and marketed to the machine tool industry.

327. Investigation of Phase Change Material Microcapsules for High Temperature Applications
Triangle Research and Development Corp.
P.O. Box 12696
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
tel: 919-832-5959 x209; fax: 919-832-5988
e-mail: TRDC@aol.com
Principal Investigator: Yvonne G. Bryant, Ph.D.
President: David P. Colvin, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9710613; Amount: $299,937

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will continue the Phase I effort that investigated the microencapsulation of phase change materials (PCMs) in a form stable enough to withstand the melt-spinning process, with special emphasis on capsules with mean particle size less than ten micron. Topics for further study in Phase II include, among others: (1) investigating dry heat stability of capsules in air, (2) identifying the nature of effluent materials given off with heat, (3) optimizing further the most suitable microencapsulation process, investigating process scale-up; (4) demonstrating the incorporation of microcapsules into the major melt-spun fibers, and (5) evaluating spinning performance and fiber properties. By the end of Phase II, it is anticipated that micro PCMs will be producible on a scale suitable for prototype spinning of melt-spun fibers for conversion into apparel and non-apparel articles. The requirements for producing a commercial product in Phase III for inclusion into melt-spun fibers will be assessed.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The commercial potential of melt-spun fibers and fabrics with enhanced thermal energy storage capabilities is enormous for the apparel (e.g., socks, gloves, jackets) and industrial insulation markets, where hot or cold thermal control is required.

Topic 22¾Chemical and Transport Systems Resources

328. Production of Endohedral Metallofullerenes

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 West 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
tel: 303-940-2300
Principal Investigator: John D. Wright
President: Michael E. Karpuk
NSF Grant No. 9527836; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a continuous method for the production of endohedral metallofullerenes (fullerenes containing encapsulated metal atom(s)) and an economical method of separating them from the empty fullerenes. The metallofullerenes form a unique new class of molecules whose graphitic-like fullerene shell simultaneously protects the trapped, reactive metal atom from the outside environment while also providing a fullerene functional group that can be readily used for derivatization or attachment of the metallofullerene to carrier molecules and substrates. Additionally, because of electronic interactions that occur between the trapped metal atom and the fullerene shell, the metallofullerenes are expected to possess a broad range of unusual electronic and magnetic properties. The metallofullerenes have potential applications in such diverse areas as superconductivity, nonlinear optics, and pharmaceuticals for medical imaging. Unfortunately, progress on the research and development of metallofullerene properties and applications has been slow due to the very high production costs. Metallofullerenes are currently produced by a batch process using carbon arc vaporization of doped graphite. The production costs using this method are so high that metallofullerenes are currently not commercially available. During Phase I of this project, TDA successfully demonstrated a new, dramatically different synthesis method that is continuous, simple to operate, and scalable to large industrially relevant capacities. Further improvements on this new process should dramatically lower the cost of metallofullerene production. Phase II research will improve the efficiency of this new process and investigate methods for scaling up both production and purification of the metallofullerenes.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The production and separation processes developed in this project are capable of meeting the research demand for metallofullerenes. In the long term, TDA’s new production method will lower the cost of metallofullerenes to less than 10/g and allow their use in applications such as medical imaging, nonlinear optics, and novel superconductors.

329. High-Frequency Shearing Interferometer Emission Velocimeter (Sieve) for High-Temperature Gas Diagnostics

Science Research Laboratory, Inc.
15 Ward St.
Somerville, MA 02143
tel: 617-547-1122 x114
Principal Investigator: Peter Rostler, Ph.D.
President: Jonah Jacob, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9529856; Amount: $299,972

This Small Business Innovative Research Phase II project will develop a powerful optical diagnostic for high-temperature gases that is fundamentally different from any technique currently in use. This diagnostic is spatially localized but completely nonperturbing. For hot luminous gases it utilizes the optical emission from the gas itself. For less luminous gases, the new method can also be used by monitoring refractive effects on laser beams passed through the flow. In either realization, the light emerging from the gas is separated into two components whose intensity difference is due only to fluctuations of selected scale size in a spatially localized region within the extended volume of the flow. For low-frequency (<10 MHz) phenomena, the method has already been demonstrated and is currently being developed under other programs. The purpose of the present program is to extend the technique to much higher frequencies, which will allow study of smaller-scale phenomena and faster flows, as well as fast waves in plasmas. In Phase I, a high-frequency detector head was designed and a new ultra-high-frequency instrument was invented. Prototypes of both instruments will be fabricated and tested in Phase II.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: A high-frequency localized optical velocimeter would be a valuable diagnostic for very hot gases such as are found in arcs, combustion furnaces, and industrial plasma processing chambers. It would also be useful for detailed studies of small-scale phenomena in flowing gases, such as boundary layers and turbulent wakes in wind tunnels. Groups conducting research on gases and plasmas would be the initial customers for such an instrument. Farther in the future, there are also process control applications.

330. Multiphase Method for Highly Efficient Mixing
Creare Inc
Etna Rd., P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755
tel: 603-643-3800
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael G. Izenson
President: Dr. James A. Block
NSF Grant No. 9529990; Amount: $298,681

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will investigate a novel, multiphase mixing technique for combining and dispensing foamable compositions (such as polyurethane foams). Dispensers for foam ingredients are unreliable because the reactive ingredients must be thoroughly mixed inside the dispenser. Solids form inside the dispenser, eventually causing failure. The opportunity is to investigate a novel dispensing method that dramatically increases reliability, reduces costs, and produces high-quality foam. Mixing improves dramatically, and the dispensers can be made much more simple and reliable. The objective of the Phase II research is to understand and characterize the basic phenomena to enable the design of an economical dispenser based on froth mixing. Specifically, we will focus on good foam quality, commercially useful, reliable operation, and simple processes for commercial applications. We will investigate (1) methods to produce the proper multiphase mixing conditions, (2) methods to accomplish multiphase mixing, and (3) optimal foam quality as a function of mixing parameters. Results of the research will be data and analysis methods for the design of economical and reliable foam dispensers.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Research results from Phase II are key to developing reliable foam dispensers to produce high-quality foams for packaging, insulation, structures, and textiles. The froth-mixing process is novel, conceptually simple, reliable, and easy to scale and makes efficient use of foam reagents.

331. Catalytic Oxidation of CFCs and Related Compounds for Pollution Abatement Applications
Guild Associates, Inc.
5750 Shier-Ring Rd.
Dublin, OH 43016
tel: 614-798-8215
Principal Investigator: Dr. Joseph A. Rossin
President: Mr. Salvatore T. DiNovo
NSF Grant No. 9531289; Amount: $297,822

This Small Business Innovative Research Phase II project involves the development of a monolithic oxidation catalyst to control the release of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and related compounds into the environment. The release of CFCs and related compounds is believed to play a significant role in the decline in the earth’s ozone layer. Although the production of CFCs is currently being phased out, large quantities already exist and must be disposed of in an environmentally acceptable manner. Compounds intended to replace CFCs, which include HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) and HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), also possess ozone-depleting properties. As a result, the release of these compounds must also be controlled. Catalytic oxidation is a technology well suited for controlling vapor phase emissions. However, catalysts capable of oxidizing CFCs and related compounds have rapidly deactivated due to degradation of the catalyst in the harsh acid gas environment. Under the Phase I effort, the feasibility of using a Pt/m-ZrO2 catalyst was investigated. The catalyst was highly reactive and was able to destroy 1,000 ppm of R22, R113, and R134a without deactivation for over 100 hours of continuous operation. The objectives of the Phase II proposal are, first, to modify the catalyst formulation in an effort to maximize the reactivity and durability of the catalyst, and then to incorporate the catalyst into the washcoat of a monolith and evaluate the reactivity and durability of said material. To meet these objectives, key physical properties of the catalyst will be systematically varied, with selected materials being evaluated for reactivity and stability. Once optimized, monolithic catalysts will be prepared and evaluated for reactivity and durability against selected CFCs, HFCs, and HCFCs over a wide range of process conditions. Based on results obtained during the Phase I effort, it is anticipated that the monolithic catalyst will possess sufficient reactivity and durability to be employed in commercial pollution abatement applications.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Technologies capable of economically controlling the release of CFCs and related compounds are currently unavailable. Should the novel catalyst prove successful, economical pollution abatement systems may be designed around the catalyst to meet the needs of a wide variety of applications, which include controlling plant fugitive emissions and fume abatement.

332. Novel Nonintrusive Combustion and Spray Diagnostic
MetroLaser, Inc.
18010 Skypark Cir., #100
Irvine, CA 92714-6428
tel: 949-553-0688
Principal Investigator: Peter A. DeBarber, Ph.D.
President: Cecil F. Hess, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9531391; Amount: $299,826

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project builds on the successful results of the Phase I research that demonstrated an optical diagnostic technique capable of real-time measurement of species concentration in complex, multiphase, spray combustion environments. A significant accomplishment of the Phase I work was to integrate photorefractive crystals with the technique of Resonant Holographic Interferometry (RHI) to record and reconstruct species-specific holographic interferograms of combusting sprays at video data rates. In this Phase II proposal, we outline a research strategy to develop a compact, cost-effective instrument that permits high-speed acquisition and automated reduction of RHI interferograms. The milestones of the research are to develop and implement an automated data-reduction method with photorefractive crystals, integrate compact, tunable laser diodes, and design and build a fiber-optic-based prototype system. The Phase II research will culminate with a demonstration of the prototype system in a practical combustion environment to gain its acceptance into the scientific community and generate commercial interest that will lead into Phase III commercialization.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This diagnostic instrument will lead to the improved development of a wide variety of combustion and spray devices such as fuel injectors, spray atomizers, and high-pressure nozzles. Markets for this technology include automotive engineering, aircraft engine development, hazardous waste incineration, combustion research, and spray coatings.

333. A High Performance Air Conditioner
TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
tel: 303-940-2323
Principal Investigator: Robert J. Copeland
President: Michael E. Karpuk
NSF Grant No. 9626907; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is developing a cost-effective method of improving the efficiency of air conditioners. Air conditioners pump heat from a low temperature to a higher temperature, where it is rejected to the environment. At design conditions, heat is removed from the room air and rejected to the environment at 95° F, cooling the room air from 77° F to 55°F. Even though the heat removal is non-isothermal, the evaporator of the conventional vapor-compression cycle operates isothermally at a single, lower temperature (45°F). If some of the heat from the room air were transferred to the refrigerant at a higher temperature (>45°F), the work needed to run the cycle would be reduced. In this project, TDA Research, Inc., (TDA) will modify conventional modern vapor-compression air conditioners (i.e., pure fluid) to effectively remove heat from the room air at a higher average temperature. Like a conventional cycle, TDA’s modified cycle needs only one mechanical compressor; however, the power needed to compress the vapor is reduced. With HCFC-22 the measurements show an 18 percent increase in COP (the theoretical limit was 23 percent). During Phase II, TDA will develop equipment for air conditioners in the range of two to twenty tons, and then demonstrate the performance improvement in a small-scale (two-ton) air conditioner.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The proposed system will improve the energy efficiency of both air conditioners and refrigerator units. The primary users will be large-scale, new installations in commercial office buildings and industrial refrigerators. Split-cycle home air conditioners can also benefit from the improved performance of an ejector expansion cycle.

334. Utilization of Deep Ocean Water for Water Desalination: The Hurricane Tower
Oceanit Laboratories, Inc.
1100 Alakea St., 31st Fl.
Honolulu, HI 96813
tel: 808-531-3017; fax: 808-531-3177
e-mail: oceanit@oceanit.com
Principal Investigator: Patrick K. Sullivan, Ph.D., P.E.
President: Patrick K. Sullivan, Ph.D., P.E.
NSF Grant No. 9704058; Amount: $299,879

The Water Desalinization Research and Development Act of 1996 clearly articulates the "significance of the problem" associated with fresh water availability. As the world population grows, the need for cost-effective desalination increases. Research objectives include (1) development of a modular desalination unit, (2) confirmation of operational reliability, and (3) demonstration of economic viability.

Phase I efforts produced a scaled Hurricane Tower desalination pilot plant and generated a secondary vortex in a closed system, thereby demonstrating the feasibility of the concept. Preliminary results indicate costs of below $0.90/1,000 gallons using conventional energy systems. With renewable energy systems, costs could fall below $0.50/1,000 gallons of fresh water produced, which contained 10 ppm CI and 30 ppm TDS. Results demonstrated the promise of significant cost reduction over conventional systems. Proposed Phase II research will investigate the feasibility and operational performance of a modular secondary vortex-based desalination plant. Anticipated results include design, construction, and evaluation.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications include desalination plants on floating platforms for military, oil rigs, coastal regions, and island and inter-island water transport; emergency water supply during disasters, water contamination, and drought; reliable water supply for atolls, island states and nations, and Third World nations; and economical water desalination plants to replace aged and expensive fixed plants in use today.

335. High Activity Heat and Mass Transfer Additives for LiBr Absorption Chillers

Rocky Research
1598 Foothill Dr., P.O. Box 61800
Boulder City, NV 89006-1800
tel: 702-293-0851; fax: 702-293-0854
e-mail: rocky@accessnv.com
Principal Investigator: Travis Chandler, Ph.D.
President: Uwe Rockenfeller, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9704065; Amount: $299,466

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project seeks to discover and prove chemical additives for LiBr-water-vapor absorption chillers that will significantly improve absorption rates compared to currently available additives. Current state-of-the-art absorption chiller technology uses performance additives to increase rates of vapor absorption in order to reduce absorber size and cost. An additive that meets this goal will enable absorption chillers to be built with significantly smaller copper tube heat exchangers, resulting in reduced first costs. This in turn will allow for increased market share for absorption chillers in the air conditioning industry, and significantly enhance the competitiveness of this non-CFC-containing alternative technology. Candidate additives will be selected based on a chemical catalysis mechanism describing their activity. Absorption rate enhancement activity will be determined using a falling film test absorption machine. Chemical stability will be verified by calorimetry and long-term thermal exposure tests. In Phase II, field tests of additives identified in Phase I or Phase II will be performed using production machines.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Any new designs of LiBr-H2O absorption chillers, and LiBr chillers currently in service worldwide.

Topic 23¾Civil Infrastructure Materials, Structures, and Systems

336. An Intelligent Computer-based Method for Health Monitoring of Engine and Transmission Systems
B&C Engineering Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box 2384
Akron, OH 44309
tel: 330-375-1628
Principal Investigator: Vladimir Polyshchuk
President: Lauren Braun
NSF Grant No. 9531267; Amount: $300,000

This project aims at the development and construction of a health monitoring system for high-speed rotating machinery. The proof of concept has been carried out successfully in Phase I; Phase II will be involved in the development of the overall procedure, experimental verification and certification of the developed system, and the construction of the prototype machine health monitoring system for field application.

The work in Phase II will be carried out in three simultaneous tasks, as follows: (1) the development of a comprehensive procedure for machine health monitoring that includes (a) identification-to identify damage and wear, (b) quantification-to evaluate the level of damage, and (c) prognostication-to predict remaining life of the damaged component; (2) the development of experimental studies for verification and certification of the developed software package. Three major experimental developments will be carried out consisting of (a) fully instrumented gear test rigs set up by B&C EA, Inc., and (b) an industrial pump tested by the Duriron Pump Company; and (3) the development of hardware and software for the data acquisition, data storage, and signal processing for field data by the Quatech Company. Three different systems will be developed: (a) the portable monitoring system-instrumented only with "dumb sensors" for data acquisition, (b) the continuous storage system-continuous scheduled monitoring, and (c) the SCAN (smart centralized automated networking) system-multichannel wireless networking with a receiving station.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: (1) An on-board machine health monitoring system that will enable automatic control/shutdown of the machinery for event management (for safety measures and prolongation of machine life), and (2) a plug-in-type machine health monitoring system for recording performance history during regular maintenance (for determining operational safety without shutdown or disassembly of the machine).These applications will be of benefit to the defense industry (jet engines, helicopters, and land vehicles) and to commercial industries (petrochemical, power generation).

337. Optical Transfer of Data between Rotating and Stationary Subsystems
SensorData Technologies, Inc.
43626 Utica Rd.
Sterling Heights, MI 48314
tel: 810-739-4254
Principal Investigator: Sherif S. Gindy, Ph.D.
President: Sherif S. Gindy, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9531295; Amount: $299,462

This Small Business Innovative Research Phase II project proposes an innovative solution to the generic problem of transfer of information, logical data, and analog signals between rotating and stationary members in a mechanical system. In particular, it applies the solution to precision measurement of torque in a rotating shaft. The precision torque transducers available in the market are based on more than twenty-year-old technology, are costly to make, and require specialized equipment to recover the torque signal. They have a practical upper limit to shaft speed of about 25,000 RPM. For speeds above 10,000 RPM, the price increases rapidly with the speed differential. The objective of this research is to develop a new technology for contact-less transfer of information between rotating and stationary members in a mechanical system. In particular, it will be directed to the goal of making, at lower cost, precision contact-less torque transducers that are suitable for speeds up to 100,000 RPM. The approach to research is to process the analog torque signal on the rotating shaft where it is generated and to optically communicate the result to the stationary subsystem. The goal of Phase II research is to build a truly noncontact (no bearings) manufacturing prototype torque transducer rated at 100 to 1000 NM. It will be tested for speeds up to 50,000 RPM. The power needed for processing the torque signal will be supplied by a rotary power transformer integral to the transducer. The digitized torque signal communicated by optical coupling to the stationary subsystem will be processed by a microprocessor, integral to the transducer, for decimal display and optional RS232 interface. Unlike the noncontact (with bearing) transducers available in the market, it will not require any dedicated instruments to recover the torque signal. While the opportunity in this proposal is presented in terms of rotary shaft torque transducer application, the developed technology will be useful for measurement of other physical variables such as force, temperature, pressure, etc., in mechanical systems with moving parts.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The proposed research will lead to a new technology for transfer of information between rotating and stationary members of a mechanical system. It will find application in equipment used for product development in the aircraft, automobile, heavy machinery, and durable goods industries. It is suitable for on-board applications in ships and aircraft. It has potential for on-board application in automobiles, particularly in steering control of electric cars.

338. Sensorless Active Magnetic Bearings Using Neural Networks
Barron Associates, Inc.
1160 Pepsi Pl., Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22901-0807
tel: 804-973-1215
Principal Investigator: B. Eugene Parker, Jr., Ph.D.
President: Roger L. Barron
NSF Grant No. 9531425; Amount: $299,992

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project pertains to neural network methods for achieving "self-sensing" active magnetic bearings (AMBs). AMBs employ collars of electromagnets to levitate rotors. The absence of mechanical contact and the elimination of need for lubrication systems are great advantages that make AMBs a candidate technology for the replacement of rolling-element and fluid-film bearings in many rotating machinery applications. Stabilization of the rotor requires that controllers be provided the instantaneous values of rotor displacement and coil current. Self-sensing AMBs exploit the fact that the current and voltage signals in the actuation coils can provide the information needed to sense rotor position. The fundamental reason for this is that the inductive coupling between rotor and stator is displacement-dependent.

Phase I demonstrated the basic technical feasibility of self-sensing AMBs, even when the bearings are saturated magnetically. Static polynomial neural networks (PNNs) play a central role in computing displacement based on nonlinear functional relationships among current and voltage signal features. Phase II efforts will focus on perfecting and generalizing the technique and on demonstrating the performance of PNN-based rotor position estimators operating in the closed-loop feedback control of an AMB rig.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The use of sensorless magnetic bearings, although potentially beneficial wherever AMBs are employed, will be especially important in high-volume, low-cost applications (e.g., small pumps, air conditioning and refrigeration compressors, energy-storing flywheels for automotive applications, etc.) where the cost of sensing instrumentation can be prohibitive. In many applications (for reasons such as reliability, high temperatures, etc.), conventional bearings cannot be utilized.

339. Silicon Carbide Whisker Reinforced Alumina Coatings on SiC-SiC Composites
Material & Electrochemical Research (MER) Corp.
7960 S. Kolb
Tucson, AZ 85706
tel: 520-574-1980
Principal Investigator: Dr. Witold Kowbel
President: Dr. R. O. Loutfy
NSF Grant No. 9531427; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is devoted to demonstrating the uniqueness of corrosion protection of SiC-SiC composites. The SiC-SiC composites used as the substrate contain high-temperature creep-resistant MER CVR SiC fibers. These fibers are expected to greatly enhance market penetrations of CVI SiC-SiC composites in energy-related markets by providing high cost-to-benefit ratio. However, the use of these composites in corrosive environments at temperatures above 1200°C calls for corrosion protection coatings. The SiCw-Al2O3 coatings produced in Phase I offer a great potential in this area. The very successful completion of Phase I demonstrated dense, adherent, crack-free, thermal shock-resistant coatings deposited on a SiC substrate. In Phase II, this technology will be extended to include SiC-SiC tubular substrates with the goal of achieving excellent corrosion protection at temperatures up to 1400°C. In addition, efforts will be made to obtain high fracture toughness SiCw-Al2O3 coatings on SiC substrates. The success of the Phase II effort will ensure several commercial applications of this technology in energy-related cutting tools as well as other areas.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The potential applications include heat exchanger tubes, gas turbine engines, advanced aircraft engines, heat engine, filter applications, and cutting tools.

340. Improved NDE of Deep Inaccessible Flaw in Metal Structures
Quantum Magnetics, Inc.
7740 Kenamar Ct.
San Diego, CA 92121
tel: 619-566-9200
Principal Investigator: Peter V. Czipott
President: Dale R. Sheets
NSF Grant No. 9531557; Amount: $299,887.71

We propose to develop an improved NDE system based on an ultrasensitive room-temperature magnetic sensor. This magnetoresistive eddy-current instrument will have unique capabilities including (1) low-frequency inspection through thick layers of aluminum or steel, (2) broadband measurements from 0 to several megahertz, and (3) large-area scanning-array imaging with high scan rates and high spatial resolution.

During Phase I, the new instrument detected a small cavity on the back surface of an aluminum plate 4.9mm thick. The signal-to-noise ratio indicated that a crack roughly 1mm in diameter could be detected through 10mm of aluminum.

During Phase II, we will improve the instrument, establish its sensitivity for detecting cracks and thickness loss, and apply it to NDE problems, illustrating the potential applications in both aviation and maintenance of industrial infrastructure.

This program combines Quantum Magnetics’ expertise in sensitive magnetic measurements with Kodak’s improved sensor technology. Boeing and South West Research Institute will contribute to our NDE experiments and the design of a practical NDE system. The importance of this new technology is indicated by Boeing’s offer to supplement this program with in-kind support.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This improved NDE technology will reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of inspecting aircraft and aging infrastructure. Representative applications include (1) detecting cracks and corrosion in thick and multilayer aircraft structures, (2) inspection of steel tubes in power-plant heat exchangers, (3) detecting corrosion under insulation, and (4) inspecting a reactor pressure vessel through its stainless-steel cladding.

341. New Photogrammetry Data Acquisition and Processing Technology for Highway Design and Maintenance
CamSys, Inc.
1223 Peoples Ave.
Troy, NY 12180-3539
tel: 518-276-4082; fax: 518-276-6380
e-mail: manthey@camsysinc.com
Principal Investigator: David Manthey
President: Daeyong Lee
NSF Grant No. 9703948; Amount: $299,885

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop an innovative Photogrammetry Data Acquisition and Processing System for special areas of highway design. To design and maintain transportation systems, three-dimensional data on specific areas are collected by means of aerial photography, manual surveys, and labor-intensive data processing. The current aerial photography methods, however, are not capable of collecting data on areas that may not be seen readily from an aerial position, such as bridges and rock faces. The goal of the proposed project is to develop a portable, easy-to-use, digital camera-based system that uses close-range photogrammetry techniques to accurately model these areas. The proposed data acquisition system consists of a high-resolution digital camera, total station, and a photogrammetry calibration target, as tested during the Phase I program. The feasibility of such a system was also demonstrated by a highway experiment conducted while receiving assistance from the New York State Department of Transportation. A novel feature of the proposed system is that it is tailored to the accuracy desired for different applications through the use of a mathematical model. The main research objectives focus on implementing, testing, and improving methods to obtain accurate camera position and orientation data, and developing an innovative method of automating two-dimensional point correspondence in digital images. The new prototype system offers significant labor and time savings in gathering photogrammetry and ground survey data. CamSys, Inc., has extensive experience in producing and marketing automated measurement equipment for acquiring photogrammetry data, and therefore has distinct capabilities needed to develop the proposed new system.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Assessing bridge condition, modeling rock faces, and reproducing crime scenes and archeological objects.

342. High Performance Nondestructive Evaluation System Using Giant Magneto-resistance Sensors
TPL, Inc.
3921 Academy Pkwy. North, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109-4416
tel: 505-342-4432; fax: 505-345-8155
e-mail: ttiernan@highfiber.com
Principal Investigator: Timothy C. Tiernan
President: H. M. Stoller
NSF Grant No. 9704080; Amount: $300,000

As both the age and complexity of the nation’s transportation and civil structures increase, the importance of improved nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technology is amplified. Due to the lack of appropriate technology, many existing in-service inspection (ISI) programs are conducted using visual inspection only.

During Phase I, TPL demonstrated that an NDE system based on sensors made with giant magnetoresistance (GMR) materials has vastly superior performance to current NDE techniques. Using a simple, low-cost sensor and electronics system and a proprietary analytical technique, it was possible to detect cracks with widths in the 20mm to 100 mm range in both aluminum and steel sheets, with signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios exceeding 100. Of even greater importance, tests with an aircraft section showed it was possible to detect cracks beneath overlying sheets of metal and under rivet heads at high S/N levels.

During Phase II, TPL proposes to conduct the research necessary to design and develop a fully functional NDE system, based on the sensors and NDE techniques conceived during Phase I. The results to date indicate the new technology will represent a major advance in NDE capability, with considerable implications for safety, efficiency, and cost savings.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This high- sensitivity, deeply penetrating electromagnetic sensor would provide rapid, cost-effective inspection for embedded defects in electrically conductive structures including commercial and military aircraft, pressure vessels, and pipelines.

343. A Compact Betatron for Nondestructive Evaluation
Adelphi Technology, Inc.
2181 Park Blvd.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
tel: 415-328-7337; fax: 415-328-7343
e-mail: cgary@adelphitech.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Charles K. Gary
President: Dr. Melvin A. Piestrup
NSF Grant No. 9710640; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project could significantly reduce the cost of radiologic nondestructive assessment. Adelphi proposes to construct an inexpensive, compact betatron, capable of high-flux X-ray emission, for the purpose of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) in civil structures. The proposed X-ray source would replace more expensive RF linacs and thereby reduce the cost of radiological equipment. In conventional betatrons, eddy-current losses in the iron limit the frequency and the maximum field, thereby limiting the output beam power. With the use of proprietary low-loss, high-frequency materials, higher driving frequencies permit much higher X-ray fluxes while still reducing the size of the source. Radiologic NDE requires just such an inexpensive X-ray source to provide rapid, high signal-to-noise analyses.

As a proof of principle, a prototype betatron X-ray source will be constructed and tested. The proposed research will demonstrate that the betatron will provide an X-ray flux necessary for rapid evaluation of concrete structures up to 70 cm thick.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The betatron-based X-ray source developed under this proposal will find immediate commercial application as a replacement for the linacs currently used in industrial NDE. A second application for such an inexpensive high-flux X-ray source is radiotherapy treatment of cancer in developing countries.

344. Nondestructive Evaluation for Seismic Damage Assessments Using a Real-Time X-ray or Gamma-ray Imaging System
Inovix Imaging Technologies, Inc.
11821 Parklawn Dr., Lower Level
Rockville, MD 20852
tel: 301-984-1986; fax: 301-984-1289
e-mail: inovix@inovix.com
Principal Investigator: Wei-lou Cao
President: Stephanie Chaufournier
NSF Grant No. 9710646; Amount: $299,972

Quick and effective laboratory and field nondestructive evaluation of structural damage is important for earthquake studies. In Phase I, a conceptual design using the Inovix high-sensitivity, direct photo-electron conversion X-ray imaging system demonstrated a novel real-time nondestructive structural damage measurement technique for concrete with a spatial resolution of 14 lp/mm. This new technique will be developed to a hard X-ray or a gamma-ray image detecting and processing system to directly visualize and quantify structural damage, including damage location, pattern, and size. Structural damage can be monitored in real time, recorded, and transferred by this fast hard X-ray or gamma-ray detector and the associated image-transfer network system. Together with the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at SUNY Buffalo, Inovix will conduct a series of experiments to quantify the major design parameters of the prototype system and to prove the feasibility of this novel technique. This research shall result in a portable, effective, low-cost, and easy-to-use hard X-ray or gamma-ray inspection system for structural damage assessment. This system will benefit the inspection and real-time monitoring of civil engineering structures including bridges, utility structures, aging schools, and residential buildings.

345. An Effective and Environmentally Attractive Paint Removal Method
8506 Wellington Rd., Suite 200
Manassas, VA 20109-3915
tel: 703-369-5552; fax: 703-369-5298
e-mail: 73553.1264@compuserve.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. F. Douglas Witherspoon
President: Dennis W. Massey
NSF Grant No. 9710967; Amount: $299,621

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project addresses an innovative method of safely removing lead-based paints from structural materials. Removal of paint from structures is a national problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of structures. More than half the nation’s 208,505 steel bridges carrying public roads require immediate repairs totaling more than $5 billion. This represents about five billion square feet of surface area from which lead-based paint should be removed. The Phase II research objective is to build and test a complete engineering prototype and conduct a small-scale field demonstration. Phase II research will determine the optimal operating parameters of the prototype. The anticipated result is a successful field demonstration on several girders of a nearby bridge in Virginia.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The potential commercial application for this technology is large, and includes paint removal from bridges, residential and industrial structures, ships, railroad cars, tank farms, and vehicles of all types. This technology is directly applicable to the removal of other kinds of surface coatings (besides paint). Of special interest is the experimentally demonstrated ability to remove top coats of paint without damaging or removing the primer or undercoat. This will have applications for the commercial aircraft industry.

Topic 24¾Bioengineering and Environmental Systems

346. Nondestructive Evaluation by Quantitative Dielectric Imaging
Potomac Research, Inc.
10618 Tanager Lane
Potomac, MD 20854
tel: 301-279-7751
Principal Investigator: Dr. Theodore C. Guo
President: Dr. Wendy W. Guo
NSF Grant No. 9312746; Amount: $235,725

A technique of nondestructive testing and evaluation (NDT&E) by three-dimensional quantitative imaging of dielectric permittivity is proposed. Dielectric image of a target is reconstructed by measuring the microwave scattering field and utilizing a scattering inversion algorithm. It is expected to yield a resolution unlimited by wavelength, but only limited by signal-to-noise ratio. To overcome wavelength limitation, scattering equation is digitized into a matrix form without far-field approximation. To stabilize the inversion and reduce its sensitivity to noises, the number of near-field scattering data is increased to more than the number of voxels in the target and a least-mean-square method is used to fit the equations. The research is expected to lead to development of low-cost and transportable quantitative NDT&E equipment. Owing to the sensitivity of dielectric permittivity to various materials, it will provide sharper contrast than existing devices. The imaging processing time is expected to be in milliseconds, the exposure time in the order of microseconds, with microwave dose in the order of microwatt per gram to tens of microwatt per gram, which is two to three orders of magnitude below the safety level of continuous exposure.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The technique is expected to lead to development of a real-time, three-dimensional imaging apparatus for dielectric permittivities in the microwave regime. Commercial applications include all nondestructive evaluation of nonmetallic bodies, such as airport luggage interrogation, measurement of moisture contents in concrete and roofing materials, and monitoring of material defect.

347. An Innovative Composite Support for Machinery Noise Isolation
Materials Sciences Corp.
500 Office Center Dr., Suite 250
Fort Washington, PA 19034
tel: 215-542-8400
Principal Investigator: B. Walter Rosen
President: B. Walter Rosen
NSF Grant No. 9402898; Amount: $299,956

Major sources of noise contamination in industrial environments include rotating high-speed machinery, motors, engines, and gearboxes with vibrations in the 100 Hz to 10 kHz frequency range. This high-level noise is a contributory factor in operator fatigue and discomfort. Attempts at attenuating this noise transmission through use of conventional constrained-layer damping treatments on engine supports and gearbox mounts have proven ineffective.

Under the previous Phase I program, MSC identified and analyzed an innovative composite stiffness-gradient damping concept that showed potential for a significant performance improvement over conventional constrained-layer damping treatments.

In the proposed Phase II program, MSC will develop this stiffness-gradient damping concept to fully define the interactions between controlled constraining-layer property variations and the damping performance of the structure. This understanding will be used to optimize the damping performance against structural requirements and manufacturing considerations for application in the high-noise environment of an engine mount. On completion of these optimization studies, a demonstration article will be manufactured and tested to validate the damping performance and demonstrate structural reliability under typical operation.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The innovative MSC passive damping device has great potential in a variety of commercial noise isolation applications, including engine and gearbox mounts for industrial, aircraft, marine, and automotive environments. One of the most demanding of these environments is in the helicopter industry. As an example of the potential for this device, MSC has secured a commitment letter for Phase III funding from the leading U.S. helicopter manufacturer.

348. Direct Micromechanical Simulations for Damage Accumulation in Composite Materials
QUEST Integrated, Inc.
21414 68th Ave. South
Kent, WA 98032
tel: 206-872-9500
Principal Investigator: Alan C. Mueller
President: Edward M. Bohn
NSF Grant No. 9408572; Amount: $299,641

This Phase II effort addresses the need for a "bridging" technology: a broad analytical tool to evaluate composite material deformation, fracture, damage accumulation, and failure based on the underlying microstructural defects and the evolution of the microstructural state under multiaxial loading. Our work will expand on the current capabilities of MISTA, a Windows-based finite element analysis code designed specifically for microstructural analysis and developed at QUEST. MISTRA allows the user to easily construct a microscopic unit cell geometry, assign material properties to the phases, and conduct finite element simulations of standard mechanical tests of the composite material to evaluate macroscopic properties such as anisotropic stiffness and yielding and microscopic features such as residual stresses.

In Phase I, we introduced the notion of damage and failure, by allowing cracks to grow in the microscopic geometry based on the fracture mechanics principle of critical strain energy release rate. Also, a means to generate unstructured grids from photomicrographs was developed. In Phase II, we will further develop the simulations in both two and three dimensions and will develop the graphical user interface to allow the user to quickly construct the microstructural grids, perform the micromechanical simulations, and visualize the results. These micromechanical simulations establish a relationship between the evolution of the microdamage accumulation and the loss of load-carrying capability of the bulk composite material. This innovative approach would allow the design engineer to directly ascertain the effects of the microscopic material design and processing on the ultimate design of the composite structure as a whole.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Potential commercial applications range from critical defense-related component analysis to fundamental research in earth sciences to the evaluation of products for recreational use. We expect to market the software to universities, corporations, and government agencies as a tool to evaluate advanced composite materials and to speed the acceptance of new materials in critical component applications requiring high stiffness/weight ratios, low thermal expansion, dimensional stability, abrasion resistance, and fracture resistance.

349. Computer-Aided Braille Music Transcription System
Opus Technologies
13333 Thunderhead St.
San Diego, CA 92129-2329
tel: 619-538-9401
Principal Investigator: Samuel O. Flores
President: Samuel O. Flores
NSF Grant No. 9502434; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop prototype software for a computer-aided (PC Windows environment) Braille music transcription system that allows individuals with little training in the Braille music code to transcribe printed music into Braille. The system interfaces to a scanner that captures an image of the sheet music for display on the screen. A sighted user uses this image as a template for accurately entering musical symbols into a graphical music notation editor. The entered music is then translated into Braille. A Braille editor displays the resulting Braille code for editing and output. A reverse translator allows a blind musician to enter Braille music code and produce printed sheet music for use by sighted musicians.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Results of this research will lead to the development and commercialization of a complete Braille music transcription system for the U.S. and international markets, and improve blind musicians’ access to printed music.

350. Application of Induction Accelerators for Electron Beam Radiolysis of Contaminated Water
Science Research Laboratory, Inc.
15 Ward St.
Somerville, MA 02143
tel: 617-547-1122 x103
e-mail: weidman@srl.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel J. Weidman and
Dr. James P. Moran
President: Dr. Jonah Jacob
NSF Grant No. 9531275; Amount: $299,921

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will apply a compact, low-cost accelerator technology to the destruction of toxic organic contaminants in wastewater. The Phase I objectives-to demonstrate effective and efficient destruction of benzene and toluene with and without addition of oxidizing enhancers, hydrogen peroxide, and dissolved oxygen-were met. This expanded database provides the motivation for rapid implementation of this technology in a pilot-scale field demonstration. Pilot scale is within the design parameters of the current accelerator at Science Research Laboratory. Cost studies show this technology is superior to all competing remediation treatments, especially at contaminant concentrations above 50 ppm. Advantages of modularity, salability, and compactness offer additional technical advantages over conventional electron-beam systems. Benzene destruction was effective to three or four orders of magnitude. Efficiencies compare well with those of conventional electrostatic electron accelerators. Peroxide addition and dissolved oxygen addition improve destruction efficiency by approximately 37 percent. From this, important associated cost implications are developed.

An integrated Phase II development plan is presented that will address all performance and design issues in preparation for installation of a pilot-scale processor during Phase III. An experienced technical and business team has been assembled to bring this technology to commercialization.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: EPA estimates that 35 billion gallons of highly toxic wastewater were treated by U.S. industries in 1989 at a cost of $2 billion. SRL’s accelerator will capture at least 5 percent of this market with annual gross revenues of $100 million. Since the water-intensive pulp and paper industry discharges even much larger volumes of wastewater, 4.25 billion gallons daily, SRL will first target this industry on a pilot scale.

351. Marker Gene Directed Substrates for Cell Regulation
Marker Gene Technologies, Inc.
U.O. Riverfront Research Park
1811 Garden Ave.
Eugene, OR 97403-1927
tel: 541-342-3760; fax: 541-687-7963
e-mail: jnaleway@oregon.uoregon.edu
Principal Investigator: John J. Naleway, Ph.D.
President: John J. Naleway, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9710722; Amount: $298,940

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project aims to develop new commercial uses of compounds capable of exploiting common marker gene expression in transformed cells to control the growth and character of cells in living tissue. From our successes in Phase I, we propose research that will provide breakthroughs needed to advance commercial uses of these recombinant gene systems in biotechnology. In Phase II of this project, Marker Gene Technologies, Inc., proposes to establish this technology by preparing new conjugates of common growth regulators, drugs and enzyme inhibitors, for administration to a variety of animal cells or bacteria in tissue culture that contain gene fusion marker genes. In addition, Marker Gene Technologies, Inc., will develop new vectors and systems for defined control of marker genes in vivo. These new systems will provide innovative methods of detecting gene fusions and utilizing these fusion systems in transformed cells in vivo to control selected biological properties of these cells.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The success of this project opens up commercial possibilities in the fields of medical intervention in genetic diseases, new drug delivery systems, and improved biotechnological production of new proteins and drugs in cell-culture systems.

Topic 25¾Education and Human Resources

352. Low-Cost Electron Beam Hydrocarbon Emission Control System
Science Research Laboratory, Inc.
15 Ward St.
Somerville, MA 02143
tel: 617-547-1122; fax: 617-547-4104
e-mail: weidman@srl.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Rod Petr and
Dr. Daniel J. Weidman
President: Jonah Jacob
NSF Grant No. 9402458; Amount: $299,986

Toxic emissions from industrial processes and waste incinerators represent a significant and growing environmental hazard in the United States. These emissions contain extremely toxic hydrocarbons (HC) such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. Thermal decomposition of these compounds requires incineration at high temperatures (~1500°K), which is energy inefficient and may lead to a ten-fold increase in NOx production. The goal of this program is to develop a high-energy electron beam system to efficiently and cost-effectively remove hydrocarbon emissions from industrial sources. Because the ionization potentials of HC molecules are substantially below those of ambient clean air components, HC molecules are preferentially ionized, excited, and decomposed under electron beam irradiation. Experiments conducted in Phase I with benzene and chlorobenzene demonstrated the specificity of destruction of HC molecules by electron beams. HC concentrations were reduced from 80 parts-per-million (ppm) to 10 ppm at an electron beam dose of 1 Mrad, an energy density that raises the air temperature by only 10°C. In Phase II, detailed experiments will be conducted to determine the destruction rate of toluene as a function of electron beam dose, HC concentration, and composition. The HC emission control system will be based on an accelerator technology at SRL. An analysis comparing different emission control methods clearly shows the economic advantage of the electron beam approach.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: There are currently 6,000 substandard waste incinerators and many other industrial emission sources in the United States that emit eight million tons of toxic hydrocarbons annually. This Small Business Innovation Research project will provide a cost-effective, reliable technology for solving the air pollution and other environmental problems.

353. Telling Mathematical Stories: A Combination of Research and Technology
Learning in Motion, Inc.
500 Seabright Ave., #105
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
tel: 831-457-5600; fax: 831-459-6876
e-mail: Marge@learn.motion.com
Principal Investigator: Marjorie J. Cappo
President: Marjorie J. Cappo
NSF Grant No. 9704056; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project proposes to combine cognitive research, mathematics theory, and technology in a CD-ROM for primary mathematics. Students’ early success in mathematics depends on a solid concept of number. To that end, Telling Mathematical Stories proposes to synthesize four important elements: (1) students’ intuitive sense of number and multiple perspectives on number (i.e., transference of conceptual development from number (counting) to weight and volume); (2) sound used to transition from acoustic counting to estimating number; (3) multiple tools to encourage students’ own strategies and a move toward formal mathematizing; and (4) experimentation with three-dimensional figures.

Four cycles of developmental research are planned to test the uses of technology in ways not currently seen. These include the design, programming, and field testing of (1) contexts and mathematical objects, three-dimensional figures, and sound; (2) models and their visual representation and interface; and (3) "look and feel," character hosts, and features of the "worlds" that will encourage students’ own productions. The fourth cycle is a field test of the integrated program.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The commercial potential for a K-2 math program that combines research on cognition and mathematics with new technology is very high. Currently, most products are drill and practice and are limited to counting and calculating with symbols. This product builds students’ intuitive sense of number. It offers multiple model tools, incentives for students’own productions and for communicating mathematics, and new uses of sound and three-dimensional animation.

Topic 26¾Next-Generation Vehicles

354. Advanced Intelligent Control of Next-Generation Vehicles

Accurate Automation Corp.
7001 Shallowford Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37421
tel: 423-894-4646
Principal Investigator: Richard E. Saeks, Ph.D.
President: Robert M. Pap
NSF Grant No. 9531830; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovative Research Phase II project will develop an integrated hierarchical neurocontrol system for a four-motor/four-wheel-drive hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). To achieve this goal, Accurate Automation will develop a hierarchical neurocontroller for the HEV’s energy subsystem, and design a vehicle management system to generate commands for the energy and vehicle control systems from driver input. The systems will be integrated with the vehicle control system developed under Phase I into a graphical vehicle simulator that will be used to evaluate the performance of the proposed neurocontrol system. Finally, these designs will be incorporated into a preliminary design for a Phase III road test vehicle.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: By virtue of its elimination of "all" drive train components, the four-motor/four-wheel-drive HEV is ideally positioned to realize OSTP’s three times efficiency goal for a NGV. To realize the potential of this class of vehicle, a high-performance control system is required. The successful completion of the proposed program will therefore lay the foundation for the development of the coming generation of HEVs by the U.S. automotive industry.

355. High Utilization Catalyst for the Direct Oxidation of Methanol in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (7546-130)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
PSI Technologies Div.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077
tel: 508-689-0003
Principal Investigator: Karen D. Jayne
President: George E. Caledonia
NSF Grant No. 9615047; Amount: $299,965

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project addresses both performance and cost issues in developing direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) into a commercially viable form by developing a high utilization, low catalyst loading, membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for a direct methanol proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The Phase I work was highly successful in adapting PSIT’s patented electrochemical catalyzation (ECC) technique to electrodeposit Pt-Ru alloys with specific composition and morphology. Methanol oxidation performance for the resultant ECC anode with a catalyst loading of 2.0 mg/cm2 was shown to be equivalent to the unsupported Pt-Ru alloy at a loading of 5.0 mg/cm2 , which exceeded the goals of the Phase I program. The Phase II research will encompass both the anode and the cathode of a DMFC membrane electrode. The cathode work consists of both electrode structure and electrochemical catalyzation optimization. The anode research involves a further extension of the Phase I work by additional alterations of the electrode structure and/or increasing the catalyst loading, both of which could lead to still higher performance. In addition, the Phase I developed technique for alloy electrodeposition will be applied to ternary alloys such as Pt-Ru-WO3, for which recent literature suggests even higher methanol oxidation activity. Lastly, the Phase II research targets another high-cost component of this system by investigating procedures to prepare the MEA without using the costly carbon fiber paper backing that is currently employed. By widening the scope of the research to include optimization of the cathode and anode and investigation of ternary alloy electrodeposition and of alternative, less expensive support structures, we more fully address hindrances to commercializing the direct methanol PEM fuel cell.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Successful commercialization of this technology will substantially improve the cost-effectiveness of direct methanol fuel cells for vehicular applications.

356. Polymer Electrolyte for Internally Humidified Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells
BCS Technology, Inc.
4001 East 29th St., Suite 170-F
Bryan, TX 77802
tel: 409-260-9124
Principal Investigator: Hari P. Dhar, Ph.D.
President: Hari P. Dhar, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9631346; Amount: $300,000

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project proposes to build one marketable prototype of the self-humidified PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell stack using the deposit of solubilized Nafionâ membrane as the electrolyte. During the Phase I project, the feasibility of using this electrolyte was demonstrated in small single cells and one multicell stack. The research objectives of Phase II include the optimization of performance of self-humidified PEM fuel cells, operation of larger fuel cells, and design and operation of one 1 kW fuel cell stack. The best possible fuel cell performance will be obtained through optimization of reactant flow channels on the current collector and evaluation of a number of solubilized forms of electrolytes that can be used as proton exchange membranes in fuel cells. Fuel cells will be operated with reactant combinations H2/air and H2/O2. Emphasis will be given to the operation of fuel cells at the atmospheric pressure. The fuel cells will be characterized by measurements of potential-current relationships, calculations of kinetic parameters, efficiencies of platinum utilization, and reactant cross-over currents. Larger single fuel cells of areas up to 400 cm2 will be evaluated, and one multicell stack of capacity 200 W will be built and evaluated to gain experience at the level of a large cell stack performance.Other important issues to be evalulated include the effectiveness of manifolding, thermal,and water management. As the final outcome of this project, one 1 kW fuel cell stack will be designed and evaluated. The anticipated results include the developed technology for a low-cost alternative energy source: a high-performance, simplified PEM fuel cell that be developed at substantial savings because of the amount of electrolyte material used.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The PEM fuel cell will be most suitable for use in electric vehicles. The fuel cell will be equally suitable as a power source in homes, various industries, defense applications, and space missions. As a standby power source, the fuel cell will be useful for utility and remote site operations. The proposed project will simplify the fuel cell and make it cost effective-important criteria for commercial viability.

357. Preprocessing of Diesel Fuels for Use in Fuel Cells
Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 380379
East Hartford, CT 06138-0379
tel: 860-528-9806
Principal Investigator: Dr. Marek A. Wójtowicz
President: Dr. Peter R. Solomon
NSF Grant No. 9632781; Amount: $293,621

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project explores the possibility of employing currently used liquid fuels in fuel-cell vehicles. Fuel cells of commercial interest operate on (nearly) pure hydrogen, the distribution infrastructure for which is nonexistent. In addition, it is neither convenient nor safe to carry hydrogen on board commercial trucks, buses, or other vehicles. Therefore, the wide use of fuel cells will require conversion of standard fuels into hydrogen. The use of reformers for generation of hydrogen from light hydrocarbons is standard industrial practice, but this technique cannot be directly used for heavy fuels. In Phase I, the technical and economic feasibility of using an on-board pyrolysis unit to preprocess diesel fuel for the reformer was demonstrated. It was shown that pyrolysis of actual diesel fuel at 600°C produces gas containing typically 98 mol % of light hydrocarbons suitable for reforming (C4-). Similar results were obtained during pyrolysis of cetane (C16H24), which was used as a model compound for diesel fuel. In the presence of a Co/Mo catalyst, molecular hydrogen was found to be the most abundant gas species, with concentrations up to 80 mol %. The combined concentration of H2 and C4- was typically 98%. These results suggest a strong possibility of achieving diesel reforming to H2 in a single reactor.

The main objective of the Phase II project is to design, construct, and test a diesel preprocessor compatible with a 10 kW fuel cell. This objective will be accomplished in four tasks: (1) laboratory study on the pyrolysis unit (more extensive testing of diesel fuels; testing of several catalysts; performance optimization; control of sulfur and CO emissions); (2) design, construction and testing of a prototype fuel preprocessor compatible with a 10 kW fuel cell; (3) simulation of the diesel-processor/fuel-cell system; and (4) system assessment.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The commercial applications of fuel cells are numerous; they include fuel-cell buses, automobiles, tractor-trailers, and trains. The availability of the proposed preprocessing unit would allow for these vehicles to be powered by readily available liquid fuels. This would greatly accelerate the introduction of this technology into mass transit and help reduce air pollution in urban centers (particulates, NOx, CO, and unburned hydrocarbons). The preprocessing unit could also be used with some stationary fuel-cell-based power generators and on board submarines.

Topic 27¾Microelectronics Manufacturing

358. Low-Cost and Ultra-High-Precision Position Sensing System for Micro-electronics Manufacturing
20 Bankside Dr.
Billerica, MA 01821
tel: 978-663-6266; fax: 978-663-9941
e-mail: nanowave@nanowave.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Tetsuo Ohara
President: Dr. Tetsuo Ohara
NSF Grant No. 9710602; Amount: $298,800

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is for the development of a high-precision position measurement system. Such systems are used to measure and control the highly precise motion of manufacturing equipment. NanoWave’s system utilizes scanning probe microscope (SPM) technology, MEMs (or micromachines), and a high-precision holographic grating together with synchronous signal detection. The simple structure of the device and ease of use suggest significant cost savings to the end user.

The focus of the Phase I project has been to investigate the means of providing a reliable and high-speed position measurement system based on the proposed method. During Phase II, Phase I results will be further developed toward a product-level prototyping. The new prototype design will aim to demonstrate better than 0.1nm resolution and detect faster than 10mm/sec motion over a 2-inch range with increased reliability and stability. An optimization procedure for mechanical and controller design will be developed and tested along with prototype development, with the expectation of significant contribution to overall development time and cost savings. NanoWave will "design for manufacturing" during Phase II to ensure a smooth transition to the Phase III effort.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The demand for ultra-precision position measurement and control systems worldwide has grown rapidly in such key industries as (1) semiconductor manufacturing equipment, (2) servo-writers for hard disk writing, (3) optical disk mastering equipment, and (4) high-precision machining of aspheric lenses and mirrors.

359. Extremely High-Temperature n-GaN/p-β-SiC/n-GaN HBTs on Large-Area, Compliant SOI Substrates
Spire Corp.
One Patriots Park
Bedford, MA 01730-2396
tel: 781-275-6000; fax: 781-275-7470
e-mail: fnamavar@spirecorp.com
Principal Investigator: Fereydoon Namavar, Sc.D.
President: Roger G. Little
NSF Grant No. 9710628; Amount: $299,996

The objectives of Phase II are to improve the quality of GaN layers by carbonizing the entire top layer of SIMOX, and to grow GaN by MOCVD on SiC-on-insulator (SiCOI) structures. Phase II will also fabricate extremely high-temperature (HT) n-GaN/p-b-SiC/n-GaN heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) on large-area compliant SIMOX structures. GaN/b-SiC/GaN HBT structures will be made by etching the samples from the back and selectively depositing GaN.

Phase I results for partially carbonized Si on SIMOX clearly demonstrated the advantage of an SOI structure for growth of b-SiC. We obtained much narrower rocking curve spectra (than ever reported for 1 to 2 mm films) from SiC grown on SIMOX as compared to that grown on Si. Rocking curve data, unlike Bragg-Brentano data, are sensitive to the mosaic structure of heteroepitaxial growth, and thus measure crystalline quality. Photoluminescence of MOCVD-grown GaN on SiC/SIMOX shows much stronger violet and weaker yellow emission than GaN on SiC/Si or on sapphire. We have also demonstrated the possibility of selective epitaxial growth of SiC and GaN.

Our subcontractor in the Phase II program, Astralux, Inc. (Jacques I. Pankove), has already demonstrated GaN/SiC HBTs that operate at 500°C using bulk 6H-SiC, which has a bandgap of 3.0 eV and a 0.4 eV bandgap difference with GaN. b-SiCOI, which has a bandgap of 2.2 eV, provides not only larger area, less expensive, higher quality substrates, but also a larger bandgap difference (1.2 eV) with GaN for extremely HT conditions.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: HT HBTs are useful for under-the-hood automotive electronics and electronic replacement of avionic hydraulic systems.

360. Maskless, Large-Area, High-Throughput Lithography System
Anvik Corp.
6 Skyline Dr.
Hawthorne, NY 10532
tel: 914-345-2442; fax: 914-345-2452
e-mail: tdunn@anvik.com
Principal Investigator: Thomas J. Dunn, Ph.D.
President: Kanti Jain, Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9710637; Amount: $299,956

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project addresses the problems associated with current microelectronic lithography systems that utilize masking technology. These problems include the need for multiple masks required for subsequent layers of an electronic module; the difficulties associated with generating large-area masks; and the dependence on foreign suppliers for mask substrates. The only available technology that does not require masks is laser direct-write imaging, which suffers from an inherently slow speed due to its bit-by-bit, serial mode of addressing.

In this proposal we present a program that eliminates all of the above shortcomings through the development of Anvik’s maskless, large-area, high-throughput, high-resolution lithography system, which combines a digital micromirror device (DMD) with Anvik’s patterning technology. The DMD is a micro-mechanical, spatial light modular with high parallel-processing power that replaces the conventional mask without any loss in throughput. When used in conjunction with Anvik’s seamless scanning technology, it can generate any possible pattern with high resolution over an unlimited area.

The proposed program will fill a critical need in the microelectronics manufacturing industry, and also significantly increase U.S. competitiveness in an enabling technology area.


361. High-Speed Capillary Electrophoresis/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry
Sensar Corp.
1652 W. 820 N
Provo, UT 84601
tel: 801-343-3775; fax: 801-343-3617
e-mail: edlee@lardav.com
Principal Investigator: Edgar D. Lee
President: Edgar D. Lee
NSF Grant No. 9705341; Amount: $347,691

This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II project will further refine the concepts from the Phase I results that established the feasibility of capillary electrophoresis/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (CE/TOFMS). TOFMS potentially provides nearly ideal detection capability for CE because it combines high sensitivity and high scan speed with the ability (when used with electrospray ionization) to detect ionized solution phase compounds typical of many biological and environmental samples. Our research objectives for the Phase II project include (1) development, implementing, and testing of the next generation high-speed data acquisition system; (2) construction and testing of a 50 cm "inverted perfectron" ROFMS; (3) refinement of the electrospray ion source and the interface between the ion source and the TOFMS; and (4) further development of capillary column technology for CE. These refinements are based on new concepts and experimental results generated in Phase I and are aimed at improving performance and reliability and increasing the cost effectiveness of CE/TOFMS. They will culminate in a prototype instrument very similar to one that could be introduced as a commercial product.

To date no publications have resulted from this work. We plan to publish results in the future. Two inventions were developed during the course of this work. One deals with the transport of ions through the differentially pumped interface connecting the mass spectrometer to the electrospray ion source. The second is a new type of data acquisition system. The art of both inventions will be taught in patents we will file. We anticipate describing them in scientific presentations and papers as well. It is also our plan to make the inventions available as part of a commercial TOFMS when the technology has matured sufficiently for a product introduction.

362. "Wired" Enzyme Sensors for Use in Bioreactor Process Control

Therasense, Inc.
1311 Harbor Bay Pkwy., Suite 1000
Alameda, CA 94502
tel: 714-494-1080; fax: 714-494-1917
e-mail: 76261.1075@compuserve.com
Principal Investigator: Herbert P. Silverman
President: Ephraim Heller
NSF Grant No. 9705608; Amount: $350,000

This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II project proposes development of in situ, steam sterilizable, amperometric sensors for bioreactor control in the pharmaceutical, food/beverage, and fermentation industries. At this time, in situ sensors for bioprocessing applications are not commercially available. Glucose concentrations can change drastically within minutes in bioreactors. In situ real-time monitoring will provide the missing tool for effective bioprocess control. In Phase I, a prototype in situ sensor was shown to monitor reliably the glucose concentration in E. coli fermentations. Importantly, the sensor housing, consisting of a stainless steel holder and an autoclavable membrane, was demonstrated to be capable of monitoring sterility for several days and was highly resistant to fouling.

In Phase II, the sensor chemistry will be made robust; its structure and components manufacturable at low cost; and its range of analytes expanded to include, in addition to glucose, lactate and glutamate. Moreover, the sensor will be tested, in addition to E. coli fermentations, in fermentations of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Streptomyces, a mycelial organism. Membranes and monolithic, injection-molded insert structure will be designed for high reliability and manufacturability. At the end of Phase II, prototype sensors for beta testing will be available for testing by the biotechnology industry.

363. High Sensitivity Materials Analysis
Charles Evans & Associates
301 Chesapeake Dr.
Redwood City, CA 94063
tel: 415-369-4567; fax: 415-369-7921
e-mail: kjwu@cea.com
Principal Investigator: Kuang Jen Wu, Ph.D.
President: Charles A. Evans, Jr., Ph.D.
NSF Grant No. 9705609; Amount: $349,843

A research program focused on the development of an innovative technique for ultra-high sensitivity trace contaminants analysis on the semiconductor surfaces based on laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) is proposed. An important analytical capability that this proposed project addresses is the capability of performing high-speed chemical mapping of whole wafers at mm spatial resolution. The technique will quantify trace contaminants on the top surface of the target materials by (1) desorbing surface contaminants with low-power laser pulses, (2) ionizing the desorbed neutrals using a high-power density pulse, and (3) measuring the photoions by a high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The goals of this Phase II research are to achieve detection limits of 108 atoms/cm2 and quantitative analysis over surface concentrations ranging between 108 and 1010 atoms/cm2 for a variety of technologically important elemental contaminants. In Phase II, we will complete the technology transfer from SRI International, a not-for-profit research institution, to Charles Evans & Associates. The research activity will be performed at both SRI International and Charles Evans & Associates.

364. Aerosol Mass Spectrometer for Size and Composition Analysis of Sub-Micron Particles
Aerodyne Research, Inc.
45 Manning Rd.
Billerica, MA 01821
tel: 978-663-9500 x233; fax: 978-663-4918
e-mail: jayne@aerodyne.com
Principal Investigator: John T. Jayne
President: Charles E. Kolb
NSF Grant No. 9705610; Amount: $349,610

This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II project is focused on the development of an aerosol sampling instrument that yields both size and chemical composition information in real time for sub-micron-sized particles. The instrument will have application to airborne particle analysis where commercial instrumentation is currently unavailable. The device combines proven technology for aerosol sampling and size separation with a unique hot-wire particle vaporization/mass spectrometric detection scheme. This instrument is less complex than current research systems that use high-power lasers for particle vaporization and, hence, will provide a significant cost reduction for particle analysis. The particle mass spectrometer combines an aerodynamic aerosol sampling inlet and charging system that generate a beam of charged particles whose size is determined by its interaction with electric fields. The mass selected beam impacts a hot wire where the particles vaporize and ionize. The resulting ions are analyzed with a molecular time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer. The Phase I work has successfully coupled the particle mass spectrometer with the hot-wire vaporization technique using quadrupole mass spectrometric detection. The initial work has demonstrated chemical composition detection for single particles for a range of liquid and solid salt particles down to 0.1 mm diameter. The detection limit will be extended in the Phase II work to ~0.03 mm diameter.

365. Hollow Fiber Raman Spectrometer
Biogeneral, Inc.
9925 Mesa Rim Rd.
San Diego, CA 92121
tel: 619-453-2966; fax: 619-453-0546
Principal Investigator: Ilia Koev
President: Victor Wild
NSF Grant No. 9705611; Amount: $349,962

This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II project will produce a Raman spectrometer based on the use of liquid core optical fibers to enhance signal intensity and improve signal-to-noise ratio. The fibers will be made of Teflon AF, a clear, amorphous, low-refractive-index fluoropolymer. When filled with nearly any transparent liquid (including water), they will act as optical fibers, capturing and confining both excitation and Raman-scattered radiation over large interaction lengths. In doing so, they will greatly increase signal intensity relative to conventional sampling arrangements. This will enable significant cost reductions through the use of inexpensive low-power lasers and/or lower-cost detectors as well as reduced acquisition times. This program will extend Phase I work by improving fibers and optimizing the fiber/spectrometer interface. Program goals include demonstrating significant intensity enhancement in aqueous solutions and producing prototypes for specific applications.

366. Surface Contamination Analyzer for Light Elements (SCALE)
425 Lakeside Dr.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
tel: 408-733-7780; fax: 408-732-1996
e-mail: kerner@aracor.com
Principal Investigator: Jonathan A. Kerner, Ph.D.
President: Robert A. Armistead
NSF Grant No. 9705616; Amount: $342,671

This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II project is designed to support the development of a prototype Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence (TRXRF) spectrometer for measuring light-element contamination on silicon wafers.

The Phase II approach is to increase the source brightness and detector efficiency of the Phase I breadboard, while continuing to identify and reduce sources of interfering background. Phase II will be targeted at demonstrating detection limits of £ 4x1013 atoms/cm2 for carbon and £1x1012 atoms/cm2 for sodium, while providing a feasibility estimate for achieving the industry’s desired goal of 1010 atoms/cm2 for sodium.

Our STTR partner at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) will compare solid-state and proportional-counter detectors for this application, while using the lower detection limits possible with the synchrotron source to probe the fundamental limits of TRXRF. The technique of X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) will be used to cross-check the TRXRF measurements and monitor uncontrolled surface contamination of samples during handling.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The main commercial applications are to measure light element (boron through aluminum) contamination of silicon wafers to support the needs of the semiconductor industry and to conduct trace analysis of elements in ultra-pure solutions.

367. Development of a Novel Low-Voltage Blue Phosphor
Advanced Vision Technologies, Inc.
150 Lucius Gordon Drive, Suite 215
W. Henrietta, NY 14586
tel: 716-214-4650; fax: 716-214-4655
e-mail: mdpemc@rit.edu
Principal Investigator: Michael D. Potter, CTO
President: Scott C. Arrington
NSF Grant No. 9712200; Amount: $98,455.00

There is a critical need for efficient low-voltage phosphors for the continuing development of field emission displays (FED) to compete effectively with entrenched AMLCDs. Advanced Vision Technologies, Inc. (AVT) has recently developed a new low-voltage blue cathodoluminescent phosphor as a thin film. AVT has also developed a proprietary FED. Elevated temperature and, therefore, expensive substrates are required to integrate this new phosphor into the display device. To permit integration at lower temperature on less expensive substrates, such as glass or plastic, the new phosphor material will be synthesized utilizing ceramic techniques and then deposited using rf sputtering, which is a low-temperature process. This proposal by AVT with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as the research institute will investigate the intrinsic properties of the new phosphor material. Process parameters will be optimized for low-voltage cathodoluminescent efficiency and maximum luminosity. Detailed analysis of the new material will enable the incorporation of dopants that will provide spectral responses suitable for full-color displays Establishing viable processes to incorporate the phosphor into FEDs will lead to the Phase II objective of fabricating the AVT FED in existing IC foundries.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: A wide variety of display technologies, including field emission, electroluminescent, vacuum, fluorescent, and surface-conduction electron emitter display products.

368. Novel Barrier Materials for Shelf-Life Enhancement of Flexible Flat Panel Displays
Foster-Miller, Inc.
350 Second Ave.
Waltham, MA 02451
tel: 781-684-4171; fax: 781-290-0693
e-mail: twilson@foster-miller.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Patricia M. Wilson
President: Dr. Charles Kojabashian
NSF Grant No. 9712253; Amount: $99,986

Recently tremendous excitement has been generated in the field of flat panel displays by the introduction of small organic molecule (typically Alq-OLEDs) and polymer light emitting diodes (pLEDs). These developments combine low-cost manufacturing normally associated with polymeric films with the opportunity to produce robust, lightweight, and flexible non-planar displays hereto unknown in the marketplace. Another significant advantage of organic-based LED displays over their well-known liquid crystal cousins is the elimination of viewing-angle constraints. Before the full realization of this new technology can be felt by the consumer, however, several important materials issues must be addressed, including device efficiency, lifetime, failure mechanisms, and packaging. During this Phase I program, Foster-Miller and Cornell University intend to transition research that addresses a technology fundamental to bringing polymer light emitting diodes to the commercial marketplace as flexible, lightweight, robust displays in the near term.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The immediate commercial application of this research is for near-hermetic packaging of polymer or small organic molecule light emitting diode-based flexible displays. Other applications in the food packaging industry that will benefit from these new, transparent, ultra-high barrier films include beer bottles, meal trays, food packaging for military uses, etc.

369. Novel All-Silicon-Based Flat Panel Displays
Spire Corp.
One Patriots Park
Bedford, MA 01730-2396
tel: 617-275-6000; fax: 617-275-7470
e-mail: spire@spirecorp.com
Principal Investigator: Nader M. Kalkhoran
President: Roger G. Little
NSF Grant No. 9712262; Amount: $99,930

Spire proposes to investigate the feasibility of a novel, low-cost, full-color, flat panel display based on silicon. In this panel, both the light-emitting elements and driver circuits are fabricated on a single polysilicon thin film deposited on a glass substrate. Emission is provided by electroluminescent (EL) devices based on nanocrystal-line Si formed by anodization within the film, followed by a stabilizing oxidation procedure. Due to their quantum confinement properties, these Si nanocrystallites are efficient emitters of visible light. Si-based EL devices can be integrated monolithically with thin-film-transistor (TFT) chip-on-glass drive circuits, resulting in a compact, self-driven display panel. Because the display panel proposed is compatible with advanced silicon processing technology, it an be built with minimum complexity and cost, and offer very high resolution.

In Phase I, Spire, in collaboration with the University of Rochester, will investigate fabrication of visible EL devices based on oxidized porous polysilicon (OPPS) thin-film phosphors on glass. Attempts will also be made to demonstrate a seven-segment numeric display based on these emitters and investigate multicolor EL devices. Phase II will optimize process parameters for fabrication of Si-based EL devices capable of emitting the three primary colors (red, green, and blue), and a prototype full-color active matrix display monolithically integrated with its driver TFTs will be developed and tested.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: All-silicon displays may be used in applications such as instrument displays, head-mounted displays, computer screens, portable televisions, and electronic games.

370. Saturated Color R-G-B OLEDs for Low-Cost, Low-Power Displays
Universal Display Corp.
Three Bala Plaza, Suite 104 East
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
tel: 610-617-4010/609-258-6815;
fax: 610-617-4017; e-mail: jkmahon@aol.com
Principal Investigator: Janice K. Mahon
President: Steven V. Abramson
NSF Grant No. 9712265; Amount: $99,760

Universal Display Corporation (UDC) and Princeton University are developing organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology for low-power, low-cost displays. Our proprietary OLED technology, based on vacuum-deposited, small-molecule organic thin films, is widely recognized for excellent brightness and contrast, fast response time, high power efficiency at low operating voltage, and excellent reliability. We recently demonstrated a novel stacked OLED pixel architecture (SOLED) to achieve high-resolution, full-color performance, where the red (R), green (G) and blue (B) sub-pixels are vertically positioned to emit any mixture of color and brightness. To realize full commercial potential, however, significant research remains to be done to achieve saturated full color. In this NSF STTR Phase I program, we intend to perform certain materials research and device structure optimization to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving saturated R-G-B spectral emission characteristics. If successful, this research will provide the basis for high-resolution, full-color displays in Phase II using photolithographic patterning techniques.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: UDC’s SOLED technology has the potential to serve myriad transportation, industrial, communications, computing, and consumer electronics markets, including applications for personal digital assistants, projection displays, viewfinders in camcorders, video phones, hand-held computers, computer monitors, and, ultimately, the TV monitor on the wall.

371. A Novel Blue Phosphor for Electro-Optic Displays
Gemfire Corporation
2471 East Bayshore Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
tel: 650-849-6800; fax: 650-849-6900
e-mail: njcockroft@gemfirecorp.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Nigel Cockroft
CEO: Richard Tompane
NSF Grant No. 9712270; Amount: $100,000

Deacon Research has developed a new electro-optic flat-panel display concept offering significant advantages in brightness, scalability, and screen flexibility over existing flat-panel display technology. Full consumer-market competitiveness of this technology will require innovative advances in the generation of full-color emission using low-cost lasers. This proposal describes a novel phosphor concept to convert near-infrared radiation to blue emission. The feasibility of engineering high efficiency in phosphors with strong near-infrared absorption that matches the requirements of our display technology and of tuning the blue spectral emission properties by the precise control of dopant concentrations will be determined. The development and validation of a design model that predicts optimum dopant concentrations by solving the dynamics of energy transfer is essential to the development of such a phosphor for our application. In Phase I, we will establish and validate such a model, and demonstrate an improvement in brightness and spectral properties of the blue emission, relative to existing commercial materials, from a small phosphor volume representative of our anticipated pixel architecture.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Flat panel displays, visible lasers.

372. Materials Technology for Printing AMLCDs
Partnerships Limited, Inc.
P.O. Box 6042
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
tel: 609-896-2193; fax: 609-896-2193
e-mail: ETDT14A@prodigy.com
Principal Investigator: Paul H. Kydd
President: Paul H. Kydd
NSF Grant No. 9712271; Amount: $100,000

Partnerships Limited has created an innovative new chemistry for printing metallic conductors on temperature-sensitive substrates. Princeton University researchers have pioneered the creation of thin film transistors (TFTs) for active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs) by printing technology. The two groups have joined to demonstrate a new technology for printing the metallization on large arrays of TFTs. This will eliminate most or all of the expensive photolithography required to produce AMLCDs and reduce the cost of manufacturing the displays by as much as half.

Preliminary work has identified bonding between the printed metallization and the silicon or glass substrates as the key technical barrier. The objective of this proposed program is to identify solutions to the bonding problem and demonstrate the feasibility of low-cost printed TFT arrays.

373. Wire Grid Polarizer for LC Displays
452 West 1260 North
Orem, UT 84057
tel: 801-225-0930; fax: 801-221-1121
e-mail: egardner@moxtek.com
Principal Investigator: Eric Gardner
President: Glenn W. Stewart
NSF Grant No. 9712304; Amount: $100,000

Wire grid polarizers (WGP) offer performance and materials improvements for liquid crystal displays that can change the industry. They are a reflective, inorganic polarizer that will lead to brighter, lower-power liquid crystal displays. MOXTEK has pioneered the technology to produce these polarizers and will produce them within the next two years. The Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University has computer models of LC displays that can quantify the performance of displays incorporating WGP.

The new WGP data for the model will come from 0.2 mm and 0.16 mm pitch polarizers prepared and measured by MOXTEK. This data will be used, along with theory, to project to the 0.1 mm pitch (and smaller) WGP used in future LC displays. These projections will then be folded into existing computer models at Kent State to quantify the performance improvements.

The data generated in Phase I will be used to approach display manufacturers for development funding and to justify a Phase II program. The large ($15 billion) market ensures that this technology will be developed soon. We have an opportunity to strike quickly and develop a key technology for LC displays for the benefit of the United States.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Liquid crystal displays, component optics, optical systems.

374. Field Emission Displays Based upon Diamond-Like Nanocomposite Films
Advanced Refractory Technologies, Inc. (ART)
699 Hertel Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14207-2396
tel: 716-875-4091 x178; fax: 716-875-0106
e-mail: coutten@art-inc.com
Principal Investigator: Dr. Craig A. Outten
President: Keith A. Blakely
NSF Grant No. 9712305; Amount: $99,998

A revolutionary new family of thin-film coating materials, Diamond-like Nanocomposites (DLN) films, has been developed. DLN films represent a novel structure of matter, and offer significant advantages over many current diamond and diamond-like carbon thin-film coating technologies. The films exhibit a unique and highly tailorable suite of properties. In this Phase I proposal, Advanced Refractory Technologies, Inc., and the State University of New York at Albany will work jointly to optimize the electronic properties of DLN for use as a cathode material in field emission displays. This will be accomplished by doping the DLN films with low work function metals. The performance of the films will be evaluated by the magnitude of threshold electric field, total emission current, emission current density, emission stability, uniformity of emission sites, and device lifetime. The optimal DLN deposition parameter space will be mapped and investigated. Device performance will be correlated with film structure, composition, and electronic properties. The technological/economic hurdles to prototype and product development will be analyzed, and based on this analysis, a roadmap will be developed for eventual large-scale integration of DLN technology into field emission display production.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: A low-cost approach to large-area FED manufacturing will result from the successful use of DLN thin-film technology. Replacement of conventional materials could result in considerable savings in materials and production costs.

375. Green Phosphor Development for Novel Emissive LCD
tubeNOT Displays, LLC
1291 West Wesley Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30327
tel: 404-351-7711; fax: 404-367-9766
e-mail: Tcupolo@aol.com
Principal Investigator: Anthony M. Cupolo, III
Manager: Christopher G. Allen
NSF Grant No. 9712309; Amount: $100,000

Standard backlit LCDs are known to have poor viewing angles and luminous efficiency. The high direct material costs of LCDs, compounded with low production yields, have kept finished-product prices high. Despite this, the LCD is the most mature flat-panel display technology commercially available. The LCD has also captured the majority of the world’s flat-panel display market and consequently has the largest production capacity. There exists therefore a significant opportunity to improve the LCD with respect to these problems by modifying the conventional backlighting arrangement, through the use of novel phosphor materials. The research proposed here relates to finding optimal green phosphor formulations that can be used in the modified backlighting arrangement. It is anticipated that these materials will provide the basis for simultaneously improving the luminous efficiency by approximately 50 percent, maximizing the viewing angles, reducing direct material costs, and improving production yields.

The potential commercial applications as described by the awardeep: Laptop and desktop computer displays, large-screen direct-view TVs, electronic billboards.