University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Method, Device and System for Active Cooling of Cold-Spray Nozzles
Cold Spray technology is a deposition process in which metal powder particles are accelerated by injection into a high-velocity stream of gas at temperatures below their melting point through a de Laval nozzle. However, clogging in the inside of the nozzle during the deposition process presents a significant challenge for this technology. This UMass Amherst invention provides a new method, device and system for active cooling of cold spray nozzles that can effectively prevent clogging and increase the operating life of the nozzles.
Published: 8/24/2018   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, David Schmidt, Jacobo Morere Rodriguez, Victor Champagne
Category(s): Devices, Engineering, Material science
Direct Printing of 3-D Microbatteries and High Surface-Area Electrodes
This invention provides highly scalable methods to fabricate 3-D lithium ion microbatteries and high surface-area electrodes for microbatteries. The methods involve imprint patterning nanoparticle-based inks using nanoimprint lithography to form high surface-area electrodes and 3-D microbatteries with well-engineered architectures. The 3-D microbatteries offer superior performance with greatly enhanced capacity and power, and can be rapidly charged and discharged.
Published: 8/22/2018   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, Wenhao Li
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
Large Area Formation of Porous Media and Patterned Carbon Composites
This invention provides rapid and low cost methods to make porous media and carbon composite materials as high-performance components for energy storage, electronics, senors and other applications.
Published: 5/9/2018   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, Dong-Po Song
Category(s): Physical Science, Nanotechnology, Material science
Low Cost, Durable Master Molds for Pattern Transfer
This invention provides a method to make low cost, durable master molds for micro- and nano-scale pattern transfer. The transferred pattern can have a variety of functional utilities such as manipulating wetting, adhesion an antimicrobial properties, inducing color, harvesting light, etc. The master molds can be created on flexible substrates, enabling additional opportunities including roll-to-roll embossing and use in blow molding and other operations.
Published: 4/30/2018   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, Feyza Dundar
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
Patterning of 1-D, 2-D and 3-D Nanostructures
This invention provides methods of manufacturing a nanotextured surface comprising disposing a nanoparticulate ink on a substrate.
Published: 8/9/2017   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, Rohit Kothari
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Physical Science, Devices & sensors
Li Ion Composite Batteries by Cooperative Assembly
This invention provides compositions and methods for inducing and enhancing order and nanostructures in block copolymers and surfactants by certain nonpolymeric additives, such as nanoparticles having an inorganic core and organic functional groups capable of hydrogen bonding.  Various compositions having lattice order and nanostructures have been made from a variety of copolymers or surfactants that are mixed with nonpolymeric additives.  Particularly, a variety of nanoparticles with an inorganic core and organic functional groups have been discovered to be effective in introducing or enhancing the degree of orders and nanostructures in diverse block copolymers and surfactants.
Published: 11/19/2014   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins
Category(s): Material science
Adhesion of a Metal Layer to a Substrate and Related Structures
The invention describes methods and resulting structures in which a metal layer is adhered to a surface of a substrate.  The methods involve applying a sacrificial acidic organic layer to the substrate prior to depositing the metal layer.  The sacrificial layer is consumed, leaving behind a metal/substrae interface that has excellent adhesion properties.
Published: 11/18/2014   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, Yinfeng Zong
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Chemicals, Devices
Mesoporous Materials and Methods
A novel process by which well ordered mesoporous films can be created by the three-dimension replication of pre-organized block copolymer templates using supercritical fluids. Mesoporous silicate, carbon and titanium dioxide films have been prepared by the infusion and selective condensation of precursors within one phase domain of highly ordered, preformed block copolymer templates using supercritical carbon dioxide as the reaction medium.  The template is then removed to produce the mesoporous oxide.  To date we have replicated ordered spherical and cylindrical morphologies to yield titania, silica, organosilicate and mixed silica/organosilicate mesostructures in films over 1 micron thick while maintaining all the structural details of the sacrificial copolymer template.
Published: 11/17/2014   |   Inventor(s): Rajaram Pai, James Watkins
Category(s): Nanotechnology, Material science