University of Missouri gets nano contract

June 27, 2006

The University of Missouri-Columbia has been given a $4.79 million Army contract to develop nanotechnologies that will improve military capabilities.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Shubhra Gangopadhyah said the three-year contract is for development of numerous devices that will be used to power warheads, rockets, missiles and guns. The devices resemble electric circuits.

Gangopadhyah, well known for working with tiny explosive materials, was selected by Army officials because her research in "dual-use," incorporating microchip-based technology with nanotechnology.

Fusing both technologies generates a powerful reaction, producing millions of shockwaves that can be used to initiate explosions or detect explosives.

Nanotechnology works with microscopic particles the size of atoms.

"Our goal is to use microchip technology to make smaller and better controlled warheads and munitions systems," said Gangopadhyah, who also heads MU's International Center for Nano/Micro Systems and Nanotechnology.

The first project, due for completion within a year, calls for the development of devices that generate sufficient temperature, pressure and combustion to propel a warhead or rocket via a microchip.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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