Nanotech business news March-April 2017


HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a technology to produce renewable hydrogen, using sunlight and any source of water, has received an Issue Notification from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, indicating the patent for the “Photoelectrochemically Active Heterostructures, and Systems for Producing Desired Products” will be issued on March 14, 2017, as United States Patent No. 9,593,053.  k, The patent protects the Company’s proprietary design of a self-contained solar-to-hydrogen device made up of billions of solar powered water-splitting nanoparticles, per square centimeter. These nanoparticles are coated with a separate patent-pending protective coating that prevents corrosion during extended periods of hydrogen production. The aim of these nanoparticles is high conversion efficiency and low cost.

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. has undertaken successful initial test results from research carried out by Dr. Alan Dalton at the University of Sussex, UK using graphene converted from the Company’s high-purity graphite. Sussex tested the use of Zenyatta graphene in rubber composite and emulsion applications. Dr. Alan Dalton, Professor of Experimental Physics at Sussex noted, “The exfoliation of Zenyatta graphite was very clean with the production of mostly monolayer and bilayer graphene.” Dr. Dalton further stated, “Our initial results using Zenyatta graphene in rubber composites show exceptional motion sensitivity to mechanical stress which is critical for sensor applications. We will be investigating the use of these composites in several other applications in conjunction with the appropriate industrial partners.”

Talga Resources has signed a joint development agreement with Zinergy UK to co-develop and supply graphene conductive inks for electrodes in thin, flexible printed batteries. Under the terms of the agreement, Talga and Zinergy will collaborate to develop and trial graphene-based conductive ink formulations in components of the patented Zinergy ultra-thin printed battery. The development program will run for an initial 12 month period.


UbiQD, LLC has achieved greater than 80% quantum yield, or optical efficiency, for its quantum dots over a broad spectrum from the visible to the near infra-red (550 nm to 1000 nm peak emission). For some colors between orange (600 nm) and deep red (800 nm), the company manufactured optimized quantum dots with near 100% quantum yield.

With this milestone, UbiQD’s materials now have the highest reported photon conversion efficiency for quantum dots that do not contain cadmium. At the same time, the new quantum yield reported by the company is also comparable to the best cadmium-containing nanomaterials that currently exist.

“We pride ourselves in being leading authorities on characterizing the optical performance of nanomaterials, and are very confident in these results,” said Dr. Matt Bergren, Vice President of UbiQD. “We are making this announcement today after having independently verified the results with several third parties, including accredited research institutions such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.” UbiQD has recently been testing prototype luminescent solar concentrator windows on the square foot scale using its high-performance glass quantum dot composites and has plans to start pilot projects to validate the technology in the marketplace later this year.


Prototype electricity-producing quantum dot window developed by UbiQD, one square foot in size, sits on a rock outcropping near the company’s headquarters in Los Alamos, New Mexico. (PRNewsfoto/UbiQD, LLC)

South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), in collaboration with Hanwha Techwin have developed transparent electrodes for OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays made from graphene, as a substitute to more conventional indium tin oxide (ITO) widely used in manufacturing today’s transparent electrodes for OLED panels. According to ETRI, this is the first time researchers have managed to apply graphene to an OLED panel, and according to the head of ETRI’s research team, Cho Nam-sung, the technology should help improve South Korea’s OLED panel technology and push local OLED panel manufacturers ahead of the rising competition from China. The researchers have used graphene electrodes with a thickness of fewer than 5 nanometers on an OLED panel measuring 370 x 470mm.

Researchers from the University of Exeter have developed innovative new memory using a hybrid of graphene oxide and titanium oxide. Their devices are low cost and eco-friendly to produce, are also perfectly suited for use in flexible electronic devices such as ‘bendable’ mobile phone, computer and television screens, and even ‘intelligent’ clothing.

Crucially, these devices may also have the potential to offer a cheaper and more adaptable alternative to ‘flash memory’, which is currently used in many common devices such as memory cards, graphics cards and USB computer drives. Professor David Wright, an Electronic Engineering expert from the University of Exeter and lead author of the paper said: “Using graphene oxide to produce memory devices has been reported before, but they were typically very large, slow, and aimed at the ‘cheap and cheerful’ end of the electronics goods market.

“Our hybrid graphene oxide-titanium oxide memory is, in contrast, just 50 nanometres long and 8 nanometres thick and can be written to and read from in less than five nanoseconds — with one nanometre being one billionth of a metre and one nanosecond a billionth of a second.”

Researchers from the Lodz University of Technology have designed a transparent, flexible cryogenic temperature sensor with graphene structures as sensing elements. Such sensors could be useful in medical diagnostics, space exploration and aviation, processing and storage of food and scientific research.

New graphene engine start module

Skeleton Technologies has launched  a new graphene-based engine start module to help power heavy industry vehicles in extreme conditions. SkelStart Engine Start Module 2.0, is available in 24V and 12V versions and is based on the SkelCap graphene-based supercapacitors.

“Heavy vehicles operating in the haulage, forestry and marine space need to be reliable and power efficient as any downtime rapidly impacts profits,” says Taavi Madiberk, chief executive of Skeleton Technologies.

“SkelStart Engine Start modules are designed to provide reliable engine starting in even the harshest conditions, as well as reduced ongoing costs on maintenance and replacement. Businesses can therefore expect their equipment to work cost effectively year-round, affording them peace of mind.”

Axcelon Biopolymers Corp. (ABC) has concluded its study to build a demonstration bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) production facility in St. Félicien, Qc. The project will incorporate ABC’s proprietary BNC organism to produce high value bioproducts for the wound care, medical devices, and the industrial sectors. Dino Mili, ABC’s president, stated, “ABC is focused on becoming a leader in the production of BNC where there is a growing need for green polymers that are biosourced and biodegradable to replace petroleum based products. We are enthusiastic in creating a working relation with St. Félicien for our project.” ABC’s first product to market is Nanoderm, a unique a one-time application BNC woundcare product that provides a barrier to infections and helps alleviate pain. ABC has other patents in development related to the use of BNC in the medical devices field and is working with partners to incorporate the use of BNC in 3-D printing and electro-spinning applications for the production of biocomposites.

At Johns Hopkins Hospital, a team of scientists and surgeons are working on a way for the tissue to come off the shelf, instead of from the human body. LifeSprout is commercializing a synthetic material developed by the company’s cofounders that’s a fusion of hydrogel and polyester nanofibers. Instead of requiring surgery, the material could be injected or implanted, said Sashank Reddy, company co-founder.


Glatfelter’s Composite Fibers business unit, in partnership with Dreamweaver International, Inc., has won an award for the Dreamweaver Gold 20™ product as the “best finished product made from, or incorporating nonwovens”.

Dreamweaver and Glatfelter have developed Dreamweaver Gold 20™, a lithium ion battery separator made from a combination of nanofibers and microfibers whose thermally stable materials are designed to prevent self-ignition. “The team is very proud and excited for the future of this product as we work through the qualification process,” said Martin Rapp, Senior Vice President and Business Unit President, Composite Fibers.