Archives for April 2016

SEED Solicitation (Federal and Non-Federal) – Weapons Systems and Platforms – Solvent-Free Processes for Organic Synthesis of Military-Relevant Energetic Materials

notice in PIVOT

The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) is to develop innovative synthetic approaches to produce energetic materials and their precursors that will eliminate or drastically reduce hazardous waste streams from the nitration processes that are widely used in manufacturing energetic materials. Typical nitration processes of aromatic compounds, amines, and alcohols to produce C-Nitro, N-Nitro or Nitrate ester based energetics involve large quantities of strong acids (sulfuric and nitric) and produce large quantities of hazardous wastes. Solvents used in the preparation of these compounds are contaminated with the energetic material, hazardous reagents, or reaction by-products and are not easily recycled. In addition, typical nitration reactions require rigorous temperature control and are therefore energy intensive processes.

Proposals should focus on one of the following processes:
– Synthesis of an aromatic/heteroaromatic nitro compound (e.g. TNT, DNAN)
– Synthesis of a nitramine (e.g. RDX, HMX, CL-20)
– Synthesis of a nitrate ester (plasticizer) (NG, TMETN, etc. or nitrocellulose)

Proposals also will be considered for more broad-based research to develop the fundamentals of synthetic methodologies as related to energetic materials with no specific targeted compounds. Proposed methodologies will need to be innovative and need to go beyond the previously investigated methods of recycle and reuse of solvents/reagents. This could include solid phase synthesis for aromatic nitration, nitramine, nitrate ester formation, or oxidation of amines to nitro groups.

In the past, SERDP has explored electrochemical and biological methodologies as well as hybrid pathways involving combinations of synthetic biological and organic synthesis to produce energetic materials or to explore novel nitration pathways. Proposers for this SON should focus on methods that minimize or eliminate solvents and that do not involve biological or electrochemical methods.

Solid State and Materials Chemistry (SSMC)

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This multidisciplinary program supports basic research in solid state andmaterials chemistry comprising the elucidation of the atomic and molecular basis for material development and properties in the solid state fromthe nanoscale to the bulk. General areas of interest include but are not limited to innovative approaches to design, synthesis, bulk crystal and/or film growth, and characterization of novel organic, inorganic, and hybrid materials, as well as liquid crystal materials and multi-component material systems exhibiting new phenomena and/or providing new scientific insights into structure/composition/property relationships in the solid state. Relevant topics include original material design principles, new approaches to assembly or crystalline material growth, characterization of new material phenomena or superior behavior, investigations of surface and interfacial effects on material system structures and properties, and unraveling the relationships between structure/composition (e.g. self- or program-assembled materials, crystalline material growth, and nanostructured material systems) and properties (e.g. charge, ionic, thermal or spin transport, exciton diffusion, chemical reactivity and selectivity, etc.). Development of new organic solid state materials, environmentally-safe and sustainable materials, and fundamental studies of novel material and material systems for efficient energy harvesting, conversion and storage are encouraged. The SSMC program works closely with other programs within the Division of Materials Research (DMR) and in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and Engineering (ENG) directorates to accommodate the multidisciplinary nature of proposal submissions.

Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP)

notice in PIVOT

The Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP) program supports fundamental research addressing the processing and mechanical performance of engineering materials by investigating the interrelationship of materialsprocessing, structure, properties and/or life-cycle performance for targeted applications.Materials processing proposals should focus on manufacturing processes that convert material into useful form as either intermediate or final composition. These include processes such as extrusion, molding, casting, deposition, sintering and printing. Proposed research should include the consideration of cost, performance, and feasibility of scale-up, as appropriate. Novel processes for the production of nanoscale materials (nanotubes, nanocrystals, etc.) are of interest. Process optimization studies without a fundamental scientific contribution are not supported.

Research proposals related to mechanical performance should be driven by a targeted application(s). Structural materials that, in service, bear mechanical load are of interest. These include materials such as metals, polymers, composites, biomaterials, ceramics, hybrids and cement, intended for applications ranging from the microscale (e.g., MEMS) to the macroscale (e.g., civil infrastructures). Research related to the deterioration of performance during service (e.g., corrosion and degradation) is also of interest.

In some cases, the performance of functional materials is also of interest. This includes materials that possess native properties and functions that can be controlled by external influences (e.g., temperature, light and pH) as well as responsive materials (e.g., piezoelectric, chromogenic, shape memory and self-healing). Research proposals on performance of electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries and PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program. One exception to this would be for proposals related to multifunctional (versus a single function) material performance that include a consideration of mechanical performance. Proposals on this topic are encouraged.

Research plans driven by scientific hypotheses are encouraged. Material structures across length scales ranging from nano to meso to macro are of interest. Research on materials in the bulk or in special configurations such as surfaces or interfaces is appropriate as are research proposals related to surface engineering or tribology. Analytical, experimental, and/or numerical studies are supported. Collaborative proposals with industry (GOALI) are encouraged.

Proposals related to additive manufacturing, laser processing or bonding/joining processes are welcome in CMMI and should be submitted to the Manufacturing Machines and Equipment (MME) program, even if the focus of such proposals is on the materials for those processes. Proposals addressing the manufacture (scale up, quality, reliability, etc.) of nanoscale materials, structures, devices and systems should be submitted to the Nanomanufacturing (NM) program. Proposals addressing atomic/molecular scale synthesis or thin film synthesis (as opposed to manufacturing) are not appropriate for the MEP program. Research proposals on electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries, PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program unless there is new science being proposed about manufacturing processes for these materials. Research on the mechanics of solid materials should be directed to the Mechanics of Materials (MoM) program. Investigators with proposals focused on design methodological approaches and theory enabling the accelerated development and insertion of materials should consider the Design of Engineering Material Systems (DEMS) program. In response to the Materials Genome Initiative, there is a special initiative for research on a combined theoretical and experimental approach to accelerate materials discovery and development; such proposals should be directed to the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer Our Future (DMREF) opportunity.