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Project Grant


Grant Description
Advanced manufacturing of solid oxide electrodes using ALD.
Place of Performance
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Analysis Notes
Amendment Since initial award the End Date has been extended from 03/26/23 to 08/27/24 and the total obligations have increased 660% from $249,993 to $1,899,581.
Radiation Monitoring Devices was awarded Project Grant DESC0022769 worth $1,899,581 from the Office of Science in June 2022 with work to be completed primarily in Watertown Massachusetts United States. The grant has a duration of 2 years 2 months and was awarded through assistance program 81.049 Office of Science Financial Assistance Program. The Project Grant was awarded through grant opportunity FY 2022 SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2.

SBIR Details

Research Type
SBIR Phase I
Advanced Manufacturing of Solid Oxide Electrodes Using ALD
Statement of Problem or Situation that is Being Addressed: The degradation of the hydrogen fuel electrode in solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) during high-steam conditions severely limits the large-scale SOEC commercial viability. Nickel migration in the fuel electrode due to long term operation at high overpotential reduces the amount of triple phase boundaries (TPBs), resulting in irreversible loss of electrochemical performance. This is a critical issue that needs to be resolved in order to facilitate the wide-spread adoption of SOECs, which offers an unrivaled conversion efficiency of ~90%. Statement of How Problem or Situation is Being Addressed: RMD Inc. will address this challenge with the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) of novel anchoring layer within the porous hydrogen fuel electrode that will prevent the nickel migration. This approach will not only enhance the SOEC electrode lifetime but will also maintain the overall density of the TPBs from changing. An ALD method is uniquely capable of forming thin anchoring layer while being porous to maintain access by steam to the TPB for electrolysis of occur. What is to be done in Phase I? RMD Inc. will deposit at fuel electrode scaffolds in button cells (provide by UPenn), will validate the performance of coated fuel electrode compared to bare through representative electrolysis testing in high steam conditions at 700ºC (at UPenn), and will evaluate and create a plan of process integration for manufacturing scale-up. The resulting data will demonstrate feasibility of the proposed approach. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed development of the chemical anchor for the fuel electrode in SOECs will improve the long-term stability of SOECs, providing an efficient method of storing the excess energy from various low-cost and renewable electricity sources as hydrogen fuel, as well as the reverse in fuel cell mode to produce energy from chemical fuels. Additionally, SOECs can be utilized to generate oxygen for life support in the US manned space-flight programs and to generate oxygen from Mars’ atmosphere.
Topic Code
Solicitation Number


Last Modified 9/18/23

Period of Performance
Start Date
End Date
78.0% Complete

Funding Split
Federal Obligation
Non-Federal Obligation
Total Obligated
100.0% Federal Funding
0.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Interactive chart of timeline of amendments to DESC0022769

Transaction History

Modifications to DESC0022769

Additional Detail

SAI Number
Award ID URI
Awardee Classifications
Small Business
Awarding Office
Funding Office
892401 SCIENCE
Awardee UEI
Awardee CAGE
Performance District
Edward Markey
Elizabeth Warren

Budget Funding

Federal Account Budget Subfunction Object Class Total Percentage
Science, Energy Programs, Energy (089-0222) General science and basic research Grants, subsidies, and contributions (41.0) $1,899,581 100%
Modified: 9/18/23