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development of advanced materials with improved properties can lead to enhanced capability and reduced life-cycle costs. The Department of the Navy can ensure the development of new materials required for future naval systems by continuing to fund basic research in materials science.
The panel envisions a systems approach to materials development in the future, whereby physical and mechanical properties are understood at the atomic scale and the design of new materials is carried out computationally based on this knowledge. Capitalizing on the opportunities presented by an atomistic simulation-based design approach may enable breakthroughs in, for example, ferrous alloys, titanium matrix composites, polymer composites, high-temperature ceramics, wide-bandgap semiconductors, optical materials and coatings, and smart materials based on ferroelectrics, ferromagnetic materials, and ferroelastic materials. Advances in materials technology are expected to enable the development of improved microelectromechanical systems, leading to more capable systems-on-a-chip. Sensors that are mechanically and electrically adaptive will likely be part of this improved systems-on-a-chip capability.
Advances in materials processing and synthesis will be needed in order to meet the requirements of future Navy and Marine Corps missions. The processing of nanophase materials could be scientifically based on high-frequency cluster sputter techniques. The processing of diamond, based on chemical vapor deposition and flame techniques, could be extended so that low-defect-density materials can be achieved.
In the panel's view, the technology drivers for future naval requirements will be as follows:
Computationally designed materials and processing;
Unique nanophase materials systems for new applications;
Smart materials and systems based on shape memory alloys, ferroelectrics, and ferromagnets adaptive for mechanical and electrical applications; and
Wide-bandgap semiconductors, materials for microelectronics, photonics, and RF and microwave applications.
Technology Trends and Future Materials Developments
Computationally Driven Materials Development
The panel believes that a key development in the materials area will be the emergence of a computational design approach based on knowledge of the physical and mechanical properties of materials at the atomic level. This approach will