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Space Technology Research Grants

Development of Lightweight, Radiation- and Damage-Tolerant Micro-trusses

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Project Image   Development of Lightweight, Radiation- and Damage-Tolerant Micro-trusses

The proposed work seeks to design and create metallic/metallic glass nanolaminates with optimized nano-scale thicknesses architected into 3-dimensional periodic hollow micro-truss geometries. We will utilize advanced lithography tools to first create these architectures as polymer scaffolds, which will then be conformally coated with a variety of metals/metallic systems. After coating, the internal polymer matrix will be dissolved to reveal a hollow metallic structure, whose design is ultimately hierarchical: from nanometers (wall thickness) to microns (truss member diameters and lengths), to centimeters (fully fabricated truss). This process will combine the 3-dimensional cellular architectures, which offer extremely light weight, with alternating, nanometers-thick metallic/metallic glass nano laminates, which have demonstrated both enhanced radiation tolerance and ductility. Such an out-of-the-box approach to material synthesis promises to harness the beneficial properties offered by nano materials and proliferate them onto larger scales. This, in turn, will enable combining the extremely light weight, radiation immunity, and enhanced stiffness and toughness in a single material.

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