This program portfolio covers work both in fundamental and applied research areas. The fundamental research is focused on understanding the scientific phenomena that defines the unique properties of structural and multifunctional nanomaterials. A special emphasis is on identifying material systems and processes enabling the assembly of these materials at mesoscale and beyond while preserving and potentially enhancing the material properties, initially defined at the nanoscale. There is a specific interest in understanding the limits imposed by the physical and chemical characteristics of a material in creating these nanomaterial ensembles with desired properties. Program examples include field-assisted sintering of ceramics, photothermal reaction bonding of non-oxide ceramics, and materials assembled from low-dimensional nanostructures, such as polymer chains and monoatomic sheets. The work supported in this area is multidisciplinary in nature and combines approaches in both experimental and computational science.
The applied research is aimed at developing and optimizing nanomaterials systems for specific naval applications. In particular, this program area seeks new opportunities for nanomaterial-based technology solutions by integrating nanomaterials with conventional materials. This will create new material systems with enhanced properties and functionalities. Examples of applied research projects include nanometal and -alloy coatings, and graphene-reinforced polymer matrix composites. The work supported in this area covers approaches in a multitude of engineering sciences.
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