Manufacturing a Porous, Hydrophobic Metallic Surface

Request Number REQ1301074
Due Date January 22, 2016
Author Nick Kacsandi
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Manufacturing a Porous, Hydrophobic Metallic Surface
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a Global Electrochemical Product Client, invites proposals for technologies or methods capable of generating a micro-porous and hydrophobic metallic surface that can withstand alkaline environments. The client invites proposals from expert partners across the spectrum of industry, academia, and research.


Variations in the nanoscale characteristics of a functional surface can have drastic impacts on performance characteristics, such as conductivity, in the end application. Even minor alterations in contact angle, porosity, and patterning can elicit significant response.


In the case of NineSigma’s client, a metallic surface that has been optimized for both porosity and hydrophobicity is required. The ideal surface will exhibit a “mesh” of apertures no larger than 5-10 micrometers in size, a contact angle greater than 120° (ideally 150°), and will be permeable to gases but not aqueous mixtures. Although a variety of potentially viable techniques have been identified, the desired surface has yet to be replicated in the client’s laboratories. In particular, electrodeposition in deep eutectic solvent has been practiced unsuccessfully. In order to meet current commercialization objectives, expert partners from across the technology landscape are sought to identify and realize a commercially viable solution by 2017.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Preliminary Discussions under NDA

  • Exchange details/information with top-rated collaborators
  • Present a project plan for joint development / collaboration including resources and time needed to accomplish Phase 1


Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Present a prototype sample (around 100cm2) for evaluation in clients laboratory under working conditions
  • Detail manufacturing procedure and characterization tools


Phase 2 – Development. Optimization. Commercialization.

  • Once proof of concept is done a new project will be opened for detailed investigation on the concept
  • Expected outcomes of this phase are:
    • Increase size for prototype (up to 0.1m2)
    • Ensure reproducibility of material and manufacturing process
    • Identify key points for optimization
    • Present a plan for industrialization


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Two parameters must be matched: presented prototype should be suitable for client’s application. Proposed manufacturing process should be potentially scalable to m2 size within cost request



Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Be compatible with or adaptable to metallic substrates, primarily Nickel
  • Demonstrate hydrophobic properties in the end application (e.g. by contact angle)
  • Be nano- to micro-porous in the end application
    • Aperture range: 5-10 microns
    • Be permeable to gas, but not liquids (aqueous solutions)
  • Be potentially scalable to m2 size

Furthermore, in the end application, the metallic surface:

  • Must be electrically conductive
  • Must withstand hot, strongly alkaline environments


Please note that the appropriate solution is not required to be hydrophobic on all sides.



Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Technologies capable of generating micromesh or sponges
  • Nanostructuring and related surface modification technologies
  • Biomimetic technologies (e.g. lotus leaf effect, etc.)
  • Sol-gel methods
  • Micromachining technologies
  • Electrodeposition
  • Methods or approaches adapted from other industries, including but not limited to:
    • Filtration
    • Ceramics engineering
    • Aerospace
    • Military or defense applications
    • MEMS manufacturing



Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Technologies that are not adaptable to metallic substrates
  • Technologies not theoretically scalable to m2 size


Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:


Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, proof of concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
    • Current IP for the proposed technology (patented, etc.)
    • Overview of organizational position on handling IP
  • Compatibility of the proposed solution with the requirements outlined in the “Key Success Criteria” section above
  • Discussion of how to resolve unmet Success Criteria.
  • Performance data, if available and applicable
  • Budget / Cost information, if available
  • Team / Organization description
  • Relevant expertise, experience or background related to the RFP topic area
  • Desired relationship with the RFP sponsor


Area of Interest
Request Priority
This page does not have file attachments.
This page does not have file attachments.