Skip to main content

Nano-engineered Materials

This program portfolio covers work both in basic and applied research areas. The primary focus of the basic research is 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.

The applied research program aims 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. The approach will create new material systems with enhanced properties and functionalities.

Research Concentration Areas

The long-term basic research goals are realization of low-temperature ceramics fabrication and therefore less expensive ceramic materials; techniques enabling advanced manufacturing processes, including additive manufacturing; and scaled-up assembly of multifunctional materials. The work supported in this area is multidisciplinary in nature and combines approaches in both experimental and computational science. The basic research covers multiple topics in the physics, chemistry, and optics of materials including:

  • Defects dynamics during field-enhanced sintering of ceramics
  • Materials assembled from low-dimensional nanostructures, such as nanoparticles and monoatomic sheets
  • Metamaterials for topological photonics
  • Precursor chemistry for additive manufacturing of ceramics

The applied research projects focuses on developing advanced synthesis and manufacturing methods, including repair tools. The work supported in this area covers approaches in a multitude of engineering sciences. Example projects include:

  • Graphene-reinforced polymer matrix composites suitable for extrusion-based manufacturing
  • Laser-assisted, field-enhanced sintering of ceramics to be incorporated in additive manufacturing -based repair tools
  • Nanometal and -alloy coatings for in situ repair of Cu-Ni (Copper-Nickel) tubing in Navy heat exchangers

Research Challenges and Opportunities

Basic Research:

  • Electric field -enhanced sintering of oxide and non-oxide ceramics
  • Functional and robust optical coatings
  • Hierarchical 3D surfaces
  • Inorganic-organic hybrid nanomaterials
  • Mesoscale behavior of nanoassemblies
  • Metrology of nanomaterial assemblies
  • Precursor-based, photochemical synthesis of ceramics

Applied Research:

  • Alloy chemistry of heterointerfaces
  • Laser-assisted, field-enhanced sintering of ceramics
  • Manufacturing of transparent armor
  • Mechanics of nanocrystalline alloy coatings
  • Repair technologies utilizing nanomaterials

Updated: November 2020

How to Submit

For detailed application and submission information for this research topic, please refer to our broad agency announcement (BAA) No. N00014-23-S-B001.

Contracts: All white papers and full proposals for contracts must be submitted through FedConnect; instructions are included in the BAA.

Grants: All white papers for grants must be submitted through FedConnect, and full proposals for grants must be submitted through; instructions are included in the BAA.


Makinen, Antti Dr.
Program Officer
Code 332