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May 16, 2022

US DARPA selects teams for MINT programme

The MINT programme aims to improve the performance of batteries and anti-corrosion coatings used to power or protect DoD platforms.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US has selected a total of six teams for the Morphogenic Interfaces (MINT) programme.

The programme seeks to improve the performance of batteries and anti-corrosion coatings that are used to power or protect the US Department of Defense (DoD) platforms.

According to a DARPA statement, the teams will work to develop new electrochemical interface materials for batteries and corrosion-resistant coatings.

DARPA Defense Sciences Office MINT programme manager Vishnu Sundaresan said: “Current solid-state batteries that have high energy density have limited charge/recharge cycles and current corrosion-resistant coatings require frequent maintenance in aggressive performance environments. Premature failure in these systems is due to the formation of structural defects, such as voids, at the interfaces between two materials.

“The teams we’ve selected will develop and demonstrate novel morphogenic interface materials to enable long-lasting and high-performance solid-state batteries that power everything, from warfighter battery packs to unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, as well as provide low-maintenance corrosion-resistant coatings for critical maritime assets deployed in harsh environments.”

The MINT programme includes two focus areas, namely Solid/solid charge transfer interfaces for solid-state batteries, and Solid/liquid and solid/vapour interfaces for corrosion-resistant coatings.

The three teams selected for the first focus area are led by GE Research, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The teams that will work on corrosion-resistant coatings are led by Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia, and GE Research.

The teams, composed of industry and university researchers, will follow different approaches within their respective focus areas.

In the first phase, the teams will work to model interfacial processes, design morphogenic interfaces, and demonstrate performance improvements.

They will then further enhance their models in the second phase.

In March, the DARPA launched a programme to support the development of algorithmic decision-makers for military operations.

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