Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Fundamental Physical Science

Pushing the boundaries of knowledge of the physical sciences

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For millennia, materials have mattered—so much so that entire eras have been named for them. From the Stone Age to the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and beyond, breakthroughs in materials have defined what was technologically possible and fueled revolutions in fields as diverse as electronics, construction and medicine. Today, DARPA is pursuing the next big advances in this fundamentally important domain.
DARPA-supported researchers have developed a new approach for synthesizing ultrathin materials at room temperature—a breakthrough over industrial approaches that have demanded temperatures of 800 °C or more. The advance opens a path to creating a host of previously unattainable thin-film microelectronics, whose production by conventional methods has been impossible because many components lose their critical functions when subjected to high temperatures.
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 application opportunities.
Contact DSO Program Managers to discuss your ideas.
Although available program funds are typically fully allocated at the start of a program, opportunities sometimes arise 12 – 18 months after program kickoff, when phase 1 performance is being assessed. If you have ideas you think may be of interest to a program, this may be a good time to talk to the PM.