a photo of cogs, with the words "SBIR - STTR - America's Seed Fund".

DOE is one of 11 federal agencies participating in the SBIR-STTR programs enacted under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. The SBIR-STTR programs work with eligible small technology firms to stimulate innovative, cost-effective solutions to challenging scientific and engineering problems.

The SBIR-STTR programs release funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for Phase I and Phase II projects each fiscal year, referred to as Release 1 and Release 2. Currently, AMO submits topics and manages projects selected through Phase I/II Release 2 FOAs.

  • Phase I projects explore the feasibility of innovative concepts with awards of up to $200,000 (depending on the topic) over nine months.
  • Phase II projects are expanded R&D efforts, with awards of up to $1,100,000 over two years.

Only companies that have received a Phase I grant may respond to Phase II FOAs.

For current and upcoming FOAs and basic information about the SBIR and STTR programs, including eligibility requirements, see the DOE SBIR website. Visit the EERE SBIR site for more detailed information on how to develop and submit an application.

AMO’s SBIR-STTR Projects

FY19 SBIR/STTR projects are listed below by topic area. Expand each topic heading to see a list of projects, including project descriptions and AMO contact information. [Last updated September 2020.]

TOPIC: Atomically Precise Manufacturing: Microelectronics, Catalysts, Membranes

SBIR Phase II

Novel Probes for Tip-Based Atomically Precise Manufacturing

Tiptek LLC

PA, West Chester

5/28/19

5/27/21

 

Atomically precise manufacturing (APM) is an emerging manufacturing technology in which materials, structures, devices, and finished goods are fabricated such that every atom is positioned at an exactly specified location relative to the other atoms. However, one factor limiting this technology is the short lifetime of the probe that manipulates individual atoms. The key goal of this program is to develop commercial probes with extended lifetimes for tip-based atomically precise manufacturing. The current project will leverage the atomically precise hydrogen resist lithography method developed by Lyding as an enabling technology for APM.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

STTR Phase II

High-Speed Platform for Highly parallel STM lithography and hierarchical Assembly

Zyvex Labs

TX, Richardson

5/28/19

5/27/21

 

Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM) technology fabricates materials, structures, and devices such that every atom is positioned at an exactly specified location relative to the other atoms and the finished goods have no defects or imperfections. This project targets a key component of an APM system: a high-speed sub-nm-precision manufacturing platform for atomic precision patterning and hierarchical assembly using arrays of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) actuators. The overall objective of this project is to devise a platform for Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)-based high-speed and high-throughput imaging and lithography.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase I

Atomically Precise Ultra-High Performance 2D Micro Electronics

Zyvex Labs

TX, Richardson

6/29/20

3/28/21

This program will develop Atomically Precise 2D transistors which will find a wide range of important applications. These devices will have ultra-high performance, low noise operation, and operate with unprecedented accuracy. Much more sensitive and accurate sensors using this new circuitry will lead to significant energy savings in industrial processes.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase I

Atomic Precision Manufacturing for CNTFETs

Carbon Technology Inc.

CA, San Clemente

6/29/20

3/28/21

Increased electronics data demand has led to extremely high energy consumption and without increased efficiency, Information and Communications Technology could consume 20% of electricity by 2025, representing 5.5% of carbon emissions. Atomic Precision for Carbon Nanotube based microelectronics will significantly improve efficiency, and the proposers are developing advanced manufacturing techniques.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase I

Atomic Layer Deposition of Ovonic Non-linear Switches for the Advancement of Microelectronic Industry Roadmap

Radiation Monitoring Devices Inc.

MA, Watertown

6/29/20

3/28/21

While most of the microelectronic chip designs and development are conducted in the U.S., we rely on People’s Republic of China for manufacturing. While this arrangement has worked well in the past, China has emerged as a technology threat to the United States. Rapid advances in the technology are critical for us to maintain an edge over such competing nations and the proposed development of novel ovonic threshold switches represent one such advancement.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase I

Atomically Precise Scanning Probe Based Analysis of Activated Dopants for 2D Micro Electronics

Zyvex Labs

TX, Richardson

6/29/20

6/28/21

Atomically Precise Manufacturing of Quantum devices has strategic national security and economic implications. This program will develop a critical metrology tool essential for developing and supporting the manufacturing of quantum technology, which will assure that the United States remains the scientific and technological leader in this important field.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase I

Atomically Precise Manipulation of Silicon Properties: Material Modifications That Enhance Performance and Manufacture of Energy Conversion and Microelectronic Devices

3D Epitaxial Technologies, LLC

TX, Richardson

6/29/20

6/28/21

The goal of this project is to develop atomically precise semiconductor-metal quantum heterostructures that will be used in the next generation of ultra-high performance opto-electronic devices, serving both the civilian and military application space.

POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase IIB

Hierarchical Zeolite Catalysts for Renewable Surfactants Platform

Sironix Renewables

MN, Saint Paul

8/24/20

8/23/2022

This research aims to implement a new separations technology to produce a new class of cleaning product ingredients from plant-based sources that are superior and cheaper than current ingredients, enabling cleaning products with higher concentration, reduced environmental impact through elimination of 1,4-dioxane byproducts, and reduced manufacturing and transportation energy consumption.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

STTR Phase II

Biologically Inspired Ammonia Production with Immobilized Nitrogenase

Fulcrum BioScience

UT, West Jordan

8/27/18

12/231/20

Fulcrum BioScience and the University of Utah are developing a bio-electrochemical process that converts air into ammonia using an advanced nitrogenase enzyme. The technology will generate ammonia from air at room temperature and pressure using alternative energy and enabling low-cost, small-scale distributed production. If successful, this process could be an alternative to the current capital and energy intensive Haber-Bosch ammonia production process.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase IIC

Oxygen Separation with Dual Phase Nanocomposite Membranes

Global Research & Development Inc.

OH, Columbus

8/24/20

8/23/22

 

During previous awards, nano ceramic membranes on ceramic supports were developed that were smooth and defect-free and able to selectively separate O2 from air at temperatures of 300°C – 500°C. Additional improvements were made to the Gadolinium-doped cerium oxide and platinum nanoparticle membrane layer as well as the tubular supports for the membranes. Global Research & Development is now building a full oxygen module and will perform long-term testing on the modules and will also work on designs to scale the membrane process for two market areas for separating oxygen from various gas streams for a variety of medical, environmental and industrial applications: 1-10 ton/day capacity and 100-500 ton/day capacity.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase II

Novel Low Cost Two-Dimensional Atomically Precise Covalent Organic Membranes

NCO Technologies LLC

NC, Concord

5/21/18

12/31/20

In this research, 2D atomically precise membranes with tailored carbon capture functionality are being developed based on pore engineering. The membranes represent a highly promising class of materials with exceptional chemical/thermal stability and tunable porosity that can provide a much-needed solution to the carbon capture problem. Gas separation test shows the fabricated membranes have promising selectivity when the flux is high. During Phase II, the gas separation performance will be further improved by optimizing the pore size (including longer side chains and photo-responsive moieties) and thickness.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

TOPIC: Intelligent Systems for Materials Design and Discovery

SBIR Phase II

Combinatorial Discovery of Heterogeneous Catalysts Utilizing Emission Spectroscopy and Advanced Machine Learning

AccuStrata Inc.

MD, Rockville

8/19/19

8/18/21

Researchers propose to create a high-throughput flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) system for the rapid, combinatorial discovery and optimization of heterogeneous catalysts. The proposed system will comprise three key features: (1) Optimization and operation of the high-throughput FSP system capable of creating Pd-CeO2-MnOx solid solution catalysts; (2) Integration of an in-situ laser induced breakdown spectroscopy system capable of monitoring the particle synthesis in real time; and (3) Development of an advanced machine learning algorithm that will utilize process parameters, in-situ laser induced breakdown spectroscopy measurements, and post-synthesis characterization data to help narrow material search space and speed up materials discovery.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

STTR Phase II

Development of Intelligent Systems for Atomically Precise Membranes, Macromolecular Catalysts and Therapeutics

ThirdLaw, LLC

PA, Merion Station

8/19/19

8/18/21

Researchers will develop software to design atomically precise macromolecular membranes, catalysts, and pharmaceutical compounds based on “Molecular Lego” synthesis technology, together with the synthetic approach to create the molecules. “Molecular Lego” is a unique and patented synthetic approach to constructing macromolecules with designed three-dimensional structures and functional group display. It consists of unique cyclic, chiral molecular building blocks that are connected to each other through pairs of amide bonds to construct ladder molecules with programmable shapes.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

TOPIC: Technology for Harsh Environments

SBIR Phase I

Improved Manufacturing Techniques Waveguide Temperature Sensors for Measurements in Harsh and Corrosive Environments

Etegent Technologies, Ltd.

 

OH, Cincinnati

6/29/20

6/28/21

Robust temperature sensing is a fundamental need that is currently under-met for many different industrial applications. Work performed under this effort will develop robust and versatile temperature sensors capable of making measurements in the most extreme environments.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase I

Fiber Optic Pressure Sensor for Austere Environments

Prime Photonics LC

 

VA, Blacksburg

6/29/20

4/28/21

Advances in commercial pressure sensing technology are needed for higher temperature and pressure, and more corrosive environments. The fiber optic pressure sensing technology being developed by Prime Photonics can fill this market need and provide critical process monitoring capability for advanced energy systems.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase I

Embedded Wear Monitoring Sensors in Additively Manufactured Turbine Seals For High Efficiency Gas Turbines

Solve Technology And Research Inc.

 

FL, Orlando

6/29/20

6/28/21

Component wear in high-efficiency gas turbines contribute to a time-dependent component and engine performance degradation, that are very hard to model and predict, resulting in expensive maintenance costs to utility customers. The proposed innovation of a wireless, wear monitoring sensor, integrated with additively manufactured components, can reduce engine outages and result in reduced maintenance costs.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase II

Rugged, Long-Life Flow Monitoring for Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Ozark Integrated Circuits

AR, Fayetteville

8/27/18

6/1/21

Establishing a subsurface well requires monitoring electronics that can produce temperature, pressure and flow profiles at depths of up to 10,000+ feet at temperatures as high as 450°C. In Phase II of this project, OzarkIC will develop a robust, flow, temperature, and pressure system that can withstand these conditions but is also designed to be networkable through the use of SiC electronic “smart nodes.” (This project is managed jointly with Geothermal Technologies Office)

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

TOPIC: Critical Materials Recovery and Recycling

SBIR Phase I

Reduction of Tungsten in Cemented Carbide Manufacturing Tooling

MillenniTEK, LLC

 

TN, Knoxville

6/29/20

3/28/21

MillenniTEK will develop a material that can be used as a direct replacement for Tungsten carbide in many diverse industrial applications such as hard tooling, mining and construction, and metal machining. The new material has the potential to reduce the use of tungsten by 50% in many wear applications. This will reduce reliance on the strategically critical materials Cobalt and Tungsten.

AMO POC: Helena Khazdozian

SBIR Phase I

Low Cost, High Throughput Rare Earth Recovery System for End of Life Scrap

UHV Technologies Inc.

 

KY, Lexington

6/29/20

3/28/21

This project will develop a low cost high throughput sorting technology for recovering rare earth element materials from end of life devices such as hard drives, MRI machines and cell phones, so as to reduce our dependence on overseas supply of these critical materials.

AMO POC: Helena Khazdozian

STTR Phase I

Reclaim E-Waste

TdVib, LLC

 

IA, Boone

6/29/20

6/28/21

The U.S. depends upon foreign sources for 80% of its rare earth for technologies such as electronics and rechargeable batteries, which reduces manufacturing competitiveness and energy independence. Through the commercialization of this nontoxic process, cost-effective reclamation of rare earth elements will benefit the U.S. economy and enhance its national security.

AMO POC: Helena Khazdozian

SBIR Phase I

High Ductility Magnesium Alloy Extrusions

Terves Inc.

 

OH, Euclid

6/29/20

6/28/21

The engineered magnesium alloy supply chain is critical to the energy infrastructure of the United States. This Phase I SBIR program will scale up a novel magnesium extrusion alloy, qualifying an additional vendor for automotive and aerospace applications.

AMO POC: Helena Khazdozian

SBIR Phase I

Rare Earth Element Extraction and Recycling

 

Pioneer Astronautics

 

CO, Lakewood

6/29/20

3/28/21

The large majority of rare earth metals used in the United States are imported from China. The Rare Earth Element Extraction and Recycling process employs green chemistry that will enable domestic, cost-effective rare earth recycling to significantly reduce strategic risks and price fluctuations associated with the import of these commodities.

AMO POC: Helena Khazdozian

STTR Phase II

The Energy and Cost-efficient E-waste recovery project for rare-earths and precious metals

Quantum Ventura Inc.

CA, San Jose

8/24/20

8/23/22

Recovering more metal from waste electronics provides an opportunity to convert an exported and wasteful resource into a valuable domestic commodity. Once fully commercialized, E-RECOV’s metal recycling method will reclaim more high value materials, reduce reagent use and lessen the toxicity of remaining materials compared with current practices for salvage of metals from waste electronics. In the lab model, E-RECOV is proven to be 30% cheaper than conventional recovery technologies.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

TOPIC: Resource Utilization and Waste Reduction

SBIR Phase I

Use of Ocean Plastic Waste in Road Construction

AltiSora, LLC

 

TX, Pearland

6/29/20

12/28/20

A sustainable approach to recycle the world’s growing ocean plastic waste into asphalt will be developed. The product is a formulation of discarded fishing nets and plastic waste that improves road strength and durability.  Feasibility will be proven in Texas and expanded globally to where the ocean pollution is greatest.

AMO POC: Melissa Klembara

SBIR Phase I

Compact Catalytic Membrane Reactor for Efficient Conversion of Waste Plastics into Fungible Liquid Fuels

Molecule Works Inc.

 

WA, Richland

6/29/20

3/28/21

Expected national benefits are i) sustaining the U.S.’s manufacturing technology leadership, ii) generating new businesses and jobs, iii)) eliminating waste plastics and its environmental pollution, and vi) enhancing American’s living quality and health.

AMO POC: Melissa Klembara

SBIR Phase I

Upcycling Ocean Plastic to a Ground Improvement Material

Avantground

 

AZ, Tempe

6/29/20

3/28/21

Ocean plastics cause a wide range of issues for the environment, social equity, and the economy and they are often contaminated. This project supports a process to convert collected ocean plastics into foundation materials to support infrastructure, commercial, and industrial development while also safely sequestering these materials in the ground.

AMO POC: Melissa Klembara

SBIR Phase II

Electro-Dewatering of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

Faraday Technology Inc.

OH, Englewood

8/19/19

8/18/21

Faraday Technology Inc. is developing an economical manufacturing method and apparatus for electrochemical dewatering (not drying) of cellulosic nanomaterials including cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs). During Phase II the reactor design and electro-dewatering process will be optimized to increase the solid content from 20 wt.% to 30 wt.% while lowering energy requirements and maintaining nanocellulose structural integrity. At the end of Phase II, an alpha-scale reactor will be designed, built and tested by processing large volumes of nanocellulose; a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and a preliminary design of Beta-scale electro-dewatering system for installation at a commercial partner will also be completed.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

SBIR Phase II

Dielectrophoretic Enhancement of Dewatering

Physical Optics Corporation

CA, Torrance

8/19/19

8/18/21

The transition of cellulosic nanomaterials to pilot scale production makes them feasible for use in a variety of industrial applications. A significant hindrance for further advancement is the difficulty of drying these materials without aggregation. The technological equipment integrates the electrospray in vacuum and freeze drying that allows the drying of nanocellulose without compromising the nanoscaling. Atomization of the nanomaterial pulp mitigates the agglomeration of nanocellulose particles and dramatically increases the evaporation of generated droplets that result in the freezing and sublimation of the water. Phase II will be invested in the full design and fabrication of a small batch scale unit, developing the final control electronics with all operational features and internal diagnostic capabilities, and a demonstration of the final test unit for extended operation and scientific validation.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

SBIR Phase I

Micro-Hydro Scroll Turbine Energy Recovery Device

Air Squared Inc.

 

CO, Broomfield

6/29/20

3/28/21

Micro and modular desalination systems are targeted by the Water Security Grand Challenge to meet the need for remote and rural safe, secure, and affordable drinking water. The proposed Micro-Hydro Scroll Turbine is designed to translate the benefits of large-scale cost-effective energy recovery devices to remote and rural communities.

AMO POC: Melissa Klembara

SBIR Phase I

Sliding Element Energy Recovery (SEER) for Water Purification Systems

Amorphic Tech, Ltd.

 

PA, Allentown

6/29/20

5/28/21

Water purification processes are energy intensive, but critical to manufacturing competitiveness, sustainable water supplies, and national security. Our patented technology can utilize existing waste streams to increase process efficiency and reduce energy consumption by up to 40%.

AMO POC: Melissa Klembara

SBIR Phase IIA

Processing Mixed Salts for CO2 Utilization

Luna Innovations Inc.

VA, Roanoke

8/24/20

8/23/22

Luna Innovations proposes a dual phase separation membrane for the generation of sodium carbonate, magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate from bittern in salt waste. The proposed HCl extraction technology is a part of a core cluster of gas separation and conversion technologies that Luna is developing that use the capabilities of molten electrolytes to selectively absorb and transport specific gases at high rates, which allow for the separation membranes to exceed the performance limitations of conventional membranes by combining both high permeability and high selectivity. This innovation would allow for stockpiled salt systems to be processed into more valuable and useful chemicals for sale.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

TOPIC: Enabling Technologies for Energy Systems

STTR Phase I

Tailored Nanostructured Particles For Flexible Thermochemical Energy Storage

Hit Nano Inc.

 

NJ, Bordentown

6/29/20

3/28/21

There exists huge opportunities for U.S. industries to reduce waste thermal energy and harvest solar power with new energy storage technologies. This project will develop and commercialize an innovative technology for the manufacture of thermochemically active, high-stability materials for advanced “thermal batteries” to increase industrial energy productivity and mitigate environmental impact.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase I

Compact Power Converter with High Waveform Quality for Direct-Drive Renewable Energy Generators

Fastwatt, LLC

 

NY, Clifton Park

6/29/20

6/28/21

Scale-up of offshore wind turbines to larger sizes can reduce their cost of electricity. Technology development of components for grid interface such as the power converter and transformer are a critical driver for this. This work will develop a novel integrated power converter-transformer that is 2x smaller and 10x lighter than existing products and will provide superior waveforms and power quality on the machine and grid side.

AMO POC: Allen Hefner

SBIR Phase I

MV SiC Based Power Conditioning Systems

RCT Systems Inc.

MD, Baltimore

6/29/20

3/28/21

RCT Systems will develop a >10 MW wind turbine interface without the use of bulky 60 Hz transformers, achieving up to 80% reduction in volume and 50% reduction in weight, using MV SiC modules operating at a frequency 10 times higher than current state of the art silicon devices.

AMO POC: Allen Hefner

SBIR Phase II

Reduced Environmental Controls in Perovskite Solar Cell Manufacturing Enabled by Vacuum-Deposited Gas Barrier Coatings

GVD Corp.

MA, Cambridge

8/24/20

8/23/2022

GVD will develop a vapor barrier coating to enable the economical manufacture of next-generation solar cells based on perovskites in ambient conditions. The coating will reduce the cost and improve reliability of the manufacturing process and enable more rapid commercialization of perovskite solar cells. (This project is managed jointly with Solar Energy Technologies Office.)

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase IIC

Low-cost, low-defect, 2" GaN epi-ready substrates processed with E-Grinding

SixPoint Materials Inc.

CA, Buellton

8/24/20

8/23/22

The U.S. imports over 90% of gallium nitride substrates used for developing energy, defense, and industrial electronics. SixPoint aims to establish a robust domestic supply chain of gallium nitride substrates through improvement of production yield and productivity with this SBIR program.

AMO POC: Allen Hefner

TOPIC: Hydrocarbon Technologies

SBIR Phase IIA

Advanced Catalysts Development for Oil Refinery

Advanced Energy Materials, LLC

KY, Louisville

8/19/19

8/18/21

This SBIR Phase IIA project will continue to advance the hydro-desulfurization catalysts for reducing the severity of hydrogen use in ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) production and activity with sulfur tolerant hydrogen and other process intensification applications. With successful Phase IIA, the proposed catalyst products will find commercial applications in small refineries, refineries with no hydrogen infrastructure, reformers for hydrogen in fertilizer plants, refineries and fuel cell power plants.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase II

High Oxygen/Nitrogen Selectivity Membrane

Compact Membrane Systems Inc.

DE, Newport

4/10/17

4/9/21

The program will develop a group of high selectivity oxygen/nitrogen separation membranes using high flux, chemically and thermally resistant amorphous fluorinated polymer membranes as the base matrix. The proposed membrane can produce oxygen enriched air for industrial use in combustion processes at a much lower cost than conventional oxygen/nitrogen separation membranes. This program will 1) reduce energy requirements for small or medium size furnaces by up to 60% and 2) provide high CO2 concentration exhaust streams for enhanced concentrating of CO2 for CO2 sequestering.

AMO POC: Tina Kaarsberg

SBIR Phase IIA

Fabrication of high-quality zeolite membranes with a novel plate & frame configuration for molecular-scale mixture separations

Engi-Mat Co.

 (as of Jan 2019; formerly nGimat, LLC)

KY, Lexington

9/21/20

9/20/22

 

Energy-efficient membrane separation technologies are considered a highly cost-competitive alternative to PSA process for bioethanol concentration and purification. In Phase I, nGimat made great progress in generating high-separation-performance NaA zeolite membranes on cheap porous supports. Phase II will be concentrated on further optimization and scale-up production of the best-performing NaA zeolite membranes to meet the demand of energy efficiency.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase IIB

Portable Analytical Instrumentation for Instantaneous Real-Time Measurement of Chemical Elements in Raw Petroleum and Refinery Products

Applied Spectra Inc.

CA, Fremont

8/19/19

 

8/18/21

Applied Spectra developed an alpha-prototype LIBS (laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy) instrument for rapid, real-time chemical analysis without ashing, dissolving, diluting or desolvating the samples, directly in nitrogen flow. During Phase II, a LIBS prototype demonstrated rapid measurements of the major, minor and trace elements in various petroleum materials. During Phase IIB, the company will develop a ruggedized next-level multi-purpose LIBS prototype for refineries as a fully characterized and certified cost-effective analyzer tested at the real refinery facilities. The main goal for the entire project is further development and commercialization of the compact LIBS instrument capable of instantly analyzing both solid and liquid samples of any viscosity.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase II

Integrated Membrane Reactor for Enhancing Thermal and Chemical Reactors

Compact Membrane Systems Inc.

DE, Newport

8/19/19

8/18/21

 

Oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH), an exothermic process, is a possible low cost process to convert ethane from shale gas fracking to ethylene. A major limitation of ODH is the cost of concentrating the 25% ethylene from ODH to 99.9% ethylene for chemical processing. Compact Membrane Systems (CMS) developed custom amorphous fluoropolymers (CAF) membranes which show excellent ethylene-ethane flux, selectivity, and stability. During Phase I, CMS demonstrated process feasibility using the CAF membranes. In Phase II, CMS will work with partners to integrate ODH catalyst and the CMS membranes to further develop the process.

AMO POC: Joe Cresko