Bifunctional Catalysts and Methods for Synthesis of Impermeable and Semipermeable Coatings

BACKGROUND: Fields that involve the handling of sensitive materials, such as electronics, chemicals, and biological agents need a means of safely isolating these items to protect them or the outside environment from contamination. Current methods for coating, sealing, or encapsulating these materials may involve exposure to heat or other chemicals, which can be detrimental to both the substance and the environment.

DESCRIPTION: Scientists at the University of California have developed methods to synthesize impermeable and semipermeable coatings and similar devices of various silicones and polymetallo-oxanes. The substance to be encapsulated, sealed, or coated is placed into a mold along with the precursor solution or mixture. Addition of the catalyst initiates rapid synthesis of the corresponding silica, glass, silicone, or polymetallo-oxane without additional heating or any change in pH.

APPLICATIONS: This new technology has several applications for coatings, sealants, insulators, and encapsulators for a wide range of sensitive materials including:

* Photoelectronc circuits and components;
* Medical implants and sensors;
* Enzymes, living cells, and DNA or RNA samples for medical diagnostics;
* Sensors for chemical and biological toxic and infectious agents;
* Foods;
* Pharmaceuticals.

ADVANTAGES: The new UC technology provides the following benefits:

* Protection of acid and alkali-sensitive and heat-sensitive objects or substances during the encapsulation process;
* The ability to rapidly coat or encapsulate sensitive materials in either permeable or impermeable coatings without exposing them to heat;
* The use of environmentally benign conditions for synthesis;
* Lower energy and capital costs than that required by previously available technology.

PATENT STATUS: US Publication No. 20040146445 published July 29, 2004
REFERENCE: 2000-265

Type of Offer: Licensing

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