Interactions between a material’s surface and the environment directly affect the material’s performance and impact the cost, capabilities and readiness of Department of Defense systems. Thin film candidates exist that would mitigate these performance limitations, but the high temperatures employed during thin-film synthesis and deposition exceed the maximum limits of many DoD-relevant substrates. The materials science field has struggled to address this incompatibility for decades, with little result.
Coatings, thin films and advanced surfaces are important
aspects of systems, devices and technologies critical to the mission of the
Department of Defense. Despite decades of work, methods that enable atomic
through millimeter-scale control over structure and properties of materials
deposited on surfaces are still underdeveloped. For example, structural organization
of high-value thin films is typically controlled by high-temperature deposition
or annealing, but the temperatures employed during thin-film synthesis and
deposition exceed the limits of many DoD-relevant substrates, restricting
Performers in DARPA’s Local Control of Materials Synthesis
(LoCo) program are developing new strategies and tools as a first step toward ordered
materials deposition at or near room temperature. Recent innovations include:
(1) development of new high-flux/low-temperature plasmas for use in large-scale
manufacturing processes and (2) a new atomic layer deposition strategy that facilitates
film deposition via a write/edit approach.
Dr. Tyler McQuadedavid.email@example.com