Novel High Volume Process for the Production of Silver Nanoparticles with Controlled Shape and Dimension (SilverFluidicsTM)

New Market Opportunity:
Silver nanoparticles have applications in a wide number of fields across the electronics, physics, chemistry and biomedical fields. The optical absorption and fluorescence characteristics of the silver nanoparticles are critical to their functionality in all applications. The control of the shape and dimension of the silver nanoparticles, within a tight range, and the ability to programmably change the target size and shape of the silver nanoparticles, within a chemical fabrication process which is nevertheless capable of producing large volumes of the silver nanoparticles, in an aqueous-based process, is a key enabling platform technology which has not been available before. A lucrative market opportunity arises to licence the most advanced process for the production of the silver nanoparticles developed at NUI Galway. This platform technology also opens market opportunities for applications of silver nanoparticles in a wide range of sectors, including:
• conductive inks
• printed electronics and circuit boards
• improved solar cells and photovoltaic fuel cells
• electronic and optoelectronic packaging
• surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy
• metal-enhanced fluorescence
• tunable optical filters
• photonic crystals
• paints, colorants and pigments
• cosmetics and filters
• catalysis
• composite materials
• mesoscale construction

Market Size:
The market case for the SilverFluidicsTM platform technology and its applications is compelling. The global nanotechnology market is estimated at €20 billion in 2008 rising to €700 billion by 2015. The SilverFluidicsTM platform technology IP bundle addresses market segments across all major fields of nanotechnology applications. Specific niche market segments are of high value. The market for electronic inks and related substrate materials for printed electronics is estimated to reach €5.5 billion by 2012. Product penetration of silver nanotechnology is also high. For example, up to 35% of the textiles shipped to the EU will be silver treated by 2010.

Technology Description:
Researchers in the Dept. of Experimental Physics and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway have developed a platform technology for High Volume Production of Controlled Shape and Dimension Silver Nanoparticles. The SilverFluidicsTM process is currently producing several litres per hour of silver nanoparticles at pilot scale on one reactor line. Shaped nanoplates such as triangular nanoplates, are typical; in one example the nanoparticles produced have a diameter of 28nm ± 9.5% and a height of 13nm ± 5%.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Margaret Brennan- Fournet, School of Physics and NCBES, Dr. Patrick Fournet, NCBES.

Competitive Advantage and IP Status:
The NUI Galway team has developed a new robust method for production of large volumes of silver nanoparticles with major advantages over existing technologies:
• litres per hour on one pilot production line - equivalent to tens of tons of ink solution per year
• sub-100 nm (as low as 15 nm) silver nanoparticles
• narrow nanoparticle size distribution (e.g. <10%
about 28 nm median)
• high degree of non-spherical shape control
• high silver nanotriangle to silver nanosphere ratio
• ability to produce silver nanodisks
• aqueous-based chemistry; aqueous solution stable
• main UV-visible absorption in blue-yellow range
• demonstrated tunability of absorption across visible spectrum range
• absorption peak FWHM less than 130 nm

A patent application has been filed to protect the IP relating to this Novel High Volume Process for the Production of Controlled Shape and Dimension Silver Nanoparticles, and further patents are pending. Other background IP supporting the ArgentInkTM silver nanoparticulate ink technology has also been filed.

Type of Business Sought
Licensing opportunities, joint ventures, start-ups

Attached files:

Type of Offer: Licensing

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