Status Report

NASA Tech Transfer: Fine-Grained Targets

By SpaceRef Editor
January 12, 2015
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Jan 09, 2015


General Information

    Solicitation Number: TT01099

    Posted Date: Jan 09, 2015

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 09, 2015

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: Jan 09, 2016

    Current Response Date: Jan 09, 2016

    Classification Code: 99 — Miscellaneous

    NAICS Code: 927110

    Set-Aside Code: 


Contracting Office Address


NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 12, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001




NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA solicits inquiries from companies interested in obtaining license rights to commercialize, manufacture and market the following technology. License rights may be issued on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis and may include specific fields of use. NASA provides no funding in conjunction with these potential licenses.




Scientists at NASA Langley Research Center originally developed a Free Electron Laser (FEL) Ablation technique to synthesize single-walled carbon nanotubes. FEL provides a vast improvement over other techniques employed to make carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes produced by FEL are very pure, straight, homogenous, and defect-free. Most notable is that these nanotubes can be produced in much larger quantities than by other laser-based techniques. Now NASA scientists have further provided incremental improvement in this technology by creating a recipe and procedure for the inexpensive and simple production of fine-grained targets required for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes using FEL. Previously used targets employed metal powders that did not have a particularly small grain size or small size dispersibility. The targets used here are made of powder forge metals that are both small and dispersible. The targets facilitate a significant cost reduction in the supply of high quality single-walled carbon nanotubes. The fine-grained targets are a matrix of a prismatic edge natural flake graphite that produces strong structural pi bonds when pressed at room temperature. The targets have an approximate grain size of 2 microns. The graphite provides a carbon source that is combined with a metal catalyst made of powder forge nickel and powder forge cobalt. Previously used targets involved pressing and binding targets with Dylon carbon cement. These particles had an approximate 200-micron particle size, which led to large regions of uncatalyzed target. The new metal powders are small (~0.5 microns), highly dispersible, and two orders of magnitude less expensive. The powders are mixed in appropriate quantities and subjected to low-energy ball-milling to ensure mingling. Targets undergo additional preparatory steps, including high pressure processing. The targets are then subjected to a series of ultrafast infrared laser light pulses at a high repetition rate to vaporize the layers of the spinning targets and create a plume of nanotubes. U.S. patent application filed.


To express interest in this opportunity, please respond to with the title of this Technology Transfer Opportunity as listed in this FBO notice and your preferred contact information. Please also provide the nature of your interest in the technology along with a brief background of your company. For more information about licensing other NASA-developed technologies, please visit the NASA Technology Transfer Portal at .


These responses are provided to members of NASA Langley’s Office of Strategic Analysis and Business Development “OSACB” for the purpose of promoting public awareness of NASA-developed technology products, and conducting preliminary market research to determine public interest in and potential for future licensing opportunities. If direct licensing interest results from this posting, OSACB will follow the required formal licensing process of posting in the Federal Register. No follow-on procurement is expected to result from responses to this Notice.


Point of Contact


    Name: Jesse C Midgett

    Title: Program Specialist

    Phone: 757-864-3936

    Fax: 757-864-8314


SpaceRef staff editor.