Published: Jul 6, 2009 4:19:00 PM
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Auburn University chemical engineering doctoral student Kendall Hurst was recently awarded a $4,000 fellowship by the Space and Missile Defense Working Group of the National Defense Industrial Association-Tennessee Valley Chapter. Hurst conducts research under Bob Ashurst, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Chris Roberts, Uthlaut Professor and chemical engineering department chair.
Hurst is investigating a coating for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices with metallic nanoparticle films, which can reduce adhesion. MEMS have recently been incorporated into new military systems such as the Netfires Precision Attack Missle (PAM) and the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Through his research, Hurst has discovered that gold nanoparticles can be uniformly deposited onto the surfaces of polysilicon microdevices using a carbon dioxide gas-expanded liquid technique. These results have shown promise in reducing adhesion on MEMS and micromachines that could be used for applications in space exploration and sensor guidance systems for missile defense.
Contributed by Cassity Hughes