Vista Engineering Inc. Receives SBIR Grant

BIRMINGHAM, AL – The National Science Foundation has awarded a Phase I SBIR grant to Vista Engineering Inc. The grant will enable Birmingham-based Vista Engineering to conduct further research around the development of Submicron Thick Nanostructured Diamond (NSD) Films and is effective until June 30, 2007. The anticipated results of this SBIR research include the first NSD data on X-ray transparency, adherence, and the abrasive-wear properties of submicron film.

The proposed activity will also have a broader impact, because the commercial value of hard, ultra-smooth, adherent NSD films in the submicron and nano-ranges are just now being explored. Vista’s nanostructured diamond processes is unique because it can produce an extremely smooth and hard layer of diamond in cutting applications that test its adhesion and abrasive wear in extreme conditions. The need for micron and submicron films that have extreme properties can be immediately found in radiation windows and lithography-like tools subjected to abrasion and wear. Evidence of the commercial value of NSD film is found in the broad industry support of this research for immediate use in X-ray windows.

The application of Vista’s NSD coatings and films find commercial value because they extend the life of products, reduce pollution, reduce energy use, and facilitate efficient recycling. Each of these outcomes has specific, quantifiable positive effects for business and society.

About Vista Engineering: Vista Engineering, a resident company at OADI Technology Center, is a materials research, development and consulting firm dedicated to the creation of innovative, cost-effective solutions for materials design and application problems. Vista’s mission is to help its clients be successful by providing research-based, practical solutions for their materials needs and problems. The company’s areas of expertise include: materials research and application development in diamond coatings; materials processing technologies including welding, casting, forging and machining; and solutions-focused, situation-specific computer modeling of materials and their processing and application.

About OADI: The Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI) is the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) incubator for technology-based businesses. OADI’s mission is to provide Birmingham entrepreneurs with a unique environment to increase their company’s opportunities for success. By providing affordable office/lab space, professional and support services, and access to the University’s resources, OADI fosters entrepreneurial ideas from the early stages of company development through graduation from the incubator.


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