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Delaware RID Research One of the goals of NASA EPSCoR is to help young researchers establish themselves in order to be considered for larger federal grants. A recent highlight of the Delaware jurisdiction is the research of Dr. Christopher Kloxin, an Assistant Professor in the departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. To follow is a summary from the final report of his project entitled, “Smart and Healing Materials for Inflatable Habitats and EVA Suits in Space�: The principal goal of this NASA-RID Seed grant is to develop barrier materials for habitats and EVAs that are capable of self-healing. Repair

Galarraga (both of which are part of under-represented groups in STEM research). These students were able to develop their materials synthesis and characterization skills throughout the timeframe of the sponsored work. Additionally, they were able to identify and synthesize a novel monomer that will be the fundamental self-healing unit within the polymerized networks. We have synthesized and scaled up the materials, polymerized the monomers into films, and are now in the process of characterizing selfhealing properties of this material. Once this work is finished it will be the basis of a publication that is in preparation.

Christopher J. Kloxin, Ph.D., University of Delaware

or replacement of damaged or fractured materials in space presents a significant challenge, especially those materials that act as an environmental barrier, which must be lightweight, flexible, and durable. The RID funds made available have been utilized to sponsor our research efforts to create a new generation of self-healing materials. The initial phase of our research has focused on the organic synthesis of the base monomers that constitute the self-healing polymer networks. We have recruited two new students to work on this project: a PhD student, Melissa Gordon, and an undergraduate student, Jonathon



NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Melissa Gordon (PhD candidate) and Jonathan Galarraga (undergraduate researcher), show Prof. Kloxin their new elastomer that is capable of self-healing. This self-healing elastomer utilizes a microscopic repair mechanism that is triggered in response to damaged chemical bonds. This mechanism is proposed to dramatically increase the service lifetime of the material. This research was made possible through a University of Delaware NASA EPSCoR seed grant.

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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