NASA Tech Needs

Thin-Film Solar Cell Technologies

Thin-film technologies are sought for dye-sensitized solar cells that are flexible and printable on a plastic substrate; amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon tandem solar cells and textured TCO glass; and copper-indium- gallium-selenide solar cells that are flexible and printable on a plastic or stainless steel substrate. Also needed is a quasi-solid-state electrolyte (for outdoor reliability and stability) and a sintering technology to deposit TiO2 paste on flexible substrates at temperatures under 150°C.

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Natural Preservatives for Beverages

Organic antimicrobial chemistries are needed to act as natural preservatives for a variety of beverages. They must be safe, stable, colorless, odorless, and tasteless at the concentration necessary to act as a preservative, and be effective at low concentrations (below 1%). They must extend the overall lifetime of the beverage and the nature of the beverage must not change.

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Environmentally Friendly Solvents

A specialty chemical company is seeking innovative green, renewable raw materials, products, and processes for replacement of existing non-environmentally friendly solvents while not compromising the performance or significantly increasing the costs. The solutions should be biodegradable, low/non- VOC, low toxicity, and economically competitive. Sources for renewable raw material solutions may include glycerol, sugars, furfural, succinic acid, and bioethanol.

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Quantifying Breast-Feeding Volume

A method is sought to provide a real-time quantitative measure of the volume of milk consumed as a baby breast-feeds. The solution must be safe, environmentally sound, non-invasive, retail for under $50, and should not interfere with mother- newborn bonding. It should be compatible with home use and relatively small in size, and should show results in a specific standard or some calibrated multi-point scale.

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Connection of Two Rubber-Impregnated Cloth Surfaces

A way is sought to allow consumers to connect and disconnect two rubber-impregnated cloth surfaces in a consistent manner that is easy to assemble and disassemble. The cloth surfaces are in close proximity; the length of the connection will be about two meters. The connection must exhibit longterm durability and be able to withstand in-use forces. The joining method should have similar ease-of-assembly as a zipper and be silent.

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Technologies to Enhance Moisture, Vapor Transmission

A company is looking for environmentally inert methods to change the moisture management properties of conventional apparel textiles. The moisture management effect changes the way in which water vapor, moisture, and other liquids move through textiles, and can be activated via pH, temperature, or rising moisture levels. The solution would be applied in the presence of a surfactant. The effect does not have to be durable because the solution permits reapplication.

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New Coating Chemistries with Excellent Outdoor Durability

A multinational advanced materials company is seeking wet coating technologies that show excellent weathering and durability. The coatings need to be applied to glass substrates. The coating needs to have excellent outdoor durability in excess of 10 years, have a hardness of at least 2H, and be optically transparent (<1.0% haze might be acceptable). As well as the coatings being suitable for application in a solution, they also need to be able to be used as a binder or cross-linking component of coatings.

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