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Highly Permanent Biomimetic Micro/Nanostructured Surfaces by Femtosecond Laser Surface Processing for Thermal Management Systems University of Nebraska at Lincoln/NASA Glenn Research Center, Space Technology and Aeronautics Research Mission Directorates

Nebraska Professors George Gogos, Dennis Alexander and Sidy Ndao are leading an interdisciplinary effort to create functionalized metallic surfaces for thermal management systems in space applications. They treat a surface with a laser to create microstructures and nanostructures, thus giving the metal entirely different and desirable properties. This method is preferred over coatings and polymers as they are not very permanent, especially at high temperatures. The team says many of these other polymers are wonderful, but we all know Teflon comes off our cooking pans. “When we functionalize a metallic surface, the altered surface material is exactly the same as what you start out with. Because of that, the functionalized surfaces are much more permanent,” says Alexander When the researchers functionalized stainless steel pans, they noticed that water boiled more quickly than in an untreated pan. That is when research began on the heat-transfer properties associated with these new surfaces. The NASA EPSCoR grant will allow for better thermal management of NASA applications by using titanium and silicon carbide in the functionalization process to improve thermal heat management during space travel. The team has strong NASA collaborations at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, including work with Dr. Janet Hurst, Dr. Mohammad Hasan, and Dr. Vehda Nayagam. A doctoral student on



NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

the team is the recipient of the prestigious NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, the first awarded to a Nebraska student. This research is making an impact on the research capacity in Nebraska. An invention disclosure has been submitted and is currently being considered for patent application. The research is of interest to Nebraska industry where the team is collaborating with companies such as Hexagon Lincoln, Li-Cor, ConAgra, and Global Functionalized Surface Technologies (GFS) to solve specific problems and advance manufacturing technology. Video Link:

Prof. George Gogos, Science PI, University of Nebraska Lincoln

Dr. Michael C. Halbig, NASA Technical Monitor, Glenn Research Center

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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