Nanotechnology and conductive inks are two of the most promising growth areas today. These are heavily based in research, and for companies that excel in R&D, the possibilities are practically limitless.
Applied Nanotech, Inc. (ANI) is one company that is finding opportunities in nanotechnology and conductive inks. A subsidiary of Nano-Proprietary, Inc., ANI specializes in partnering with large companies on nanotechnology projects.
“The operations of Applied Nanotech are guided by the utilization of a friendly and extended international network to find needs and technical impasses of large companies with large markets that can be solved at the nanolevel,” said Dr. Zvi Yaniv, ANI’s president and CEO. “Our product is our creativity, and nanotechnology is perfect for that. These companies eventually become our strategic partners and licensees.
“ANI is solving important technological and scientific needs at the nanolevel,” Dr. Yaniv said. “Our definition of nanotechnology is unique and we are closely following this definition, meaning that we are dealing with a meso-fieldof science starting from two molecules getting together until the agglomeration of these molecules for the first time have the qualities of the bulk material. Following this definition, it is not important what field of science we deal with as long as the understanding and the work is done in this meso-field. Our understanding of nanotechnology and how we proceed to exploit the new scientific properties of nanomaterials for finding practical solutions is our strength.”
“We call ourselves trouble seekers,” Dr. Yaniv added. “We choose areas of real needs for large markets, and there has to be a technical impasse. We are solving problems ranging from solar energy and health to semiconductors, sensors and even eradicating anthrax.”
One of the most critical aspects of success in nanotechnology is the ability of the researchers, and ANI has formed a tremendous team. The key scientists at Applied Nanotech are Dr. Yaniv, Dr. Igor Pavlovsky, Dr. Richard Fink, Dr. James Novak, Dr. Max Roundhill and Dr. Dongsheng Mao. There are a total of 40 scientists and technologists, including physicists, chemists, material scientists and others. With their different core strengths, these scientists work together to create inventions to solve problems of the company’s strategic partners. Applied Nanotech holds more than 250 patents and patents pending covering areas as diverse as emission displays and lighting devices using electron emission from carbon nanotubes, nanocomposites and sensors.
Dr. Yaniv noted that ANI has developed a world-class portfolio of technologies, including metallic inks that can be inkjetted or nanoprinted.
“We are the world leaders in achieving metallic inks that can be inkjetted or nanoprinted, in particular copper inks that can be inkjetted in air with curing temperatures under 100°C; cleaning the air from bio threats using photocatalytic processes of specific nanomaterials; and dye sensitized solar cells inducible for flexible substrates and very low cost but efficient solar cells,” Dr. Yaniv added.
The photovoltaic market provides an excellent opportunity for ANI. In May, ANI was awarded a new Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Program grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop nanoparticle inks and processes for printing photovoltaic cells for use in solar cell applications.
“As we look to the future, we recognize that dye sensitized solar cells are excellent for very light substrates, flexible, totally compatible with printing techniques,” Dr. Yaniv said. “We also know that today dye sensitized solar cells suffer from an efficiency decay. We believe we can solve this problem using our nanotechnology expertise. As a result we see a big opportunity for entering the clean energy field by working in this direction. We are delighted to use our metallic inks and other semiconductor inks in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado.”