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Our Approach

The key to our technology is the process we have developed to utilize nanoscale properties by first functionalizing nanoparticles and then incorporating them into a base material (polymers, metals, ceramics or composites):

  1. Nanoparticles have a strong tendency to agglomerate (cluster) which negates the nanoscale properties.
  2. Our process keeps the nanoparticles separated as nanostructures, and not micron-sized agglomerates which are of limited use.

The result is schematically illustrated below, using oil and water repellent molecules as an example:

  1. This figure represents a coating designed to repel oil and water.
  2. There are two types of oil- and water-repellent molecules (mono- and bi-functional), represented as loose and tight ends respectively.
  3. These molecules have segregated to the surface yet the nanoparticles (dots) are evenly distributed.

The functionalization process allows the nanoparticles to:

  1. Be designed with various capabilities, such as anti-adherence, scratch resistance, tribological enhancement (improved wear characteristics), corrosion resistance, etc.
  2. Bond with the underlying material using strong chemical forces.
  3. Not set when dispersed in an appropriate liquid. They remain separated from each other indefinitely, as depicted below.
  1. The right side of the diagram shows the nanoparticles remaining separated from each other.
  2. The left side of the diagram shows the nanoparticles retaining on their surfaces a number of either un-reacted or still active chemical groups, which can be used as sites for chemical reactions.
  3. This latter property allows the attachment of moieties (chemical groups with specific functionalities) or organic molecules (e.g. short-chain polymers) to these sites to produce nanohybrid materials, thus supporting additional functionality in the coating.