Broomfield, CO, United States
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Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

Access to clean water is a global problem that has led to the development of multiple desalination techniques. All techniques strive to reduce the cost of desalinating water to provide clean water in a cost effective manner. Capacitive deionization (CDI) is a new technique that can reduce the cost of ownership by ~85% compared with reverse osmosis for brackish water. This project will further improve the cost effectiveness of CDI by significantly improving the capacitance of the carbon electrodes used for CDI. The cost of these carbon electrodes accounts for ~50% of the capital cost of a CDI system. Higher capacitance is derived from adding metal oxide coatings to the carbon electrodes that are employed for CDI. Metal oxide coatings are electrochemically active and store additional ions on their surface. These extra stored ions add to the capacitance obtained from the electric double layer effect. This extra capacitance is known as pseudocapacitance. Poor metal oxide coating techniques have demonstrated increasing the electrode capacitance by more than two times. Estimates indicate that the capacitance could be increased by more than a factor of 10 if the metal oxide coating could be conformal on the entire surface area of the electrode. This project will use atomic layer deposition (ALD) to obtain larger capacitances on CDI carbon electrodes. ALD NanoSolutions and the University of Colorado will demonstrate that TiO 2 ALD coatings can significantly improve the capacitance of carbon electrodes. They will also work with a commercial partner to evaluate TiO 2 ALD coatings on carbon electrodes used for CDI. Various TiO2 film thicknesses and coating conditions will be evaluated to optimize the capacitance enhancement. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Cost effective water purification technologies can be applied to desalinate seawater and brackish water or purify wastewater. If successful, this proposed technology could significantly reduce the capital and maintenance costs of CDI systems. Cost reduction is possible by significantly reducing the surface area of the carbon electrodes needed for desalination.


Company expands portfolio of high-value IP; deepens engagements with customers; doubles manufacturing space, and adds new reactors to increase production capacity at Colorado HQ BROOMFIELD, CO--(Marketwired - Nov 4, 2016) - Today, ALD NanoSolutions (ALD Nano), the pioneer and market leader in Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology on particles, reported a banner year on multiple fronts. The company partners with leading global materials companies to commercialize ALD advanced materials that significantly improve the performance, safety and other characteristics of end products in industries like lighting, batteries, sensors, life sciences and catalysts. 2016 highlights include new patents, deeper customer engagements, expanded manufacturing space, and new reactors to increase production capacity. The momentum illustrates how ALD Nano is harnessing the immense near-term market opportunities for its proprietary ALD technologies outside of ALD's traditional deployment in the semiconductor industry. Leading with Differentiated Intellectual Property (IP) Major 2016 milestones reinforced ALD Nano's pioneering development and leadership in ALD for control of surface properties at the atomic level for unique functionality of particles and other materials. The company obtained new patents, including some from the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), its R&D partner since inception. This brings ALD Nano's total patent holdings to 28 issued and 14 pending. The new IP heightens the market value and cost-effective use of its "Particle ALD" and "Polymer ALD" to create advanced materials. An important new patent1 covers an ALD method to deposit inorganic films on organic polymer surfaces. For industries like OLED displays and lithium-ion batteries, the innovation promises breakthrough benefits that could displace other technologies. The Polymer ALD technology could better protect battery electrode separators from overheating and enable next-generation life-science tools, among other applications. Another new patent2 is for Particle ALD use with super capacitor electrodes, and an in-license3 from CU Boulder for additional applications of ALD for batteries. Together, they strengthen the company's position in the energy storage market. A further patent4 covers the use of an ALD method to apply a ceramic coating to implantable medical devices. This expands ALD Nano's position in the life sciences industry. The company also filed a patent5 internationally for its revolutionary Particle ALD continuous flow reactor system. This allows for large-scale, cost-effective Particle ALD advanced materials production. Enabling Innovation for Manufacturers of Lithium-Ion Batteries and LED Lighting A standout 2016 highlight was the first commercial application of Particle ALD for Cathode Active Materials (CAMs) used to produce lithium-ion batteries. The breakthrough was achieved thanks to CU Boulder's extensive R&D and ALD Nano's proprietary and robust IP portfolio, coupled with the company's strategic partnership with a leading battery materials company. Particle ALD is the most effective surface modification method available for CAMs. The ALD-enabled CAMs will dramatically improve performance, extend cycle life and enhance the safety of batteries for use in consumer electronics, electric vehicles and grid storage. Also in 2016, the company began commercial production of Particle ALD phosphors for a Fortune Global 500 customer, following a multi-year collaboration. The ALD advanced material significantly extends the brightness lifetime for LED lights, while using a fraction of the coating material required for other deposition methods. Expanding Infrastructure to Address Growing Demand for ALD Solutions With its accumulating IP, ALD Nano is expanding and deepening engagements with customers. To support the momentum, the company doubled manufacturing space at its headquarters in Colorado, and added new reactors to increase production capacity. Headcount has also grown in the last 12 months. CEO Mike Masterson called 2016 a transformative year for ALD Nano: "Our growth this year coincides with the consistently superior performance of our ALD technology in many markets. This validates our early vision and is now guiding our execution strategy to create ALD advanced materials in partnership with leading sales channel partners and customers. We'll enter 2017 firmly positioned with differentiated technology and expertise to help such companies achieve their technology and cost-of-production goals. Our growth is a tribute to the steady efforts of our team, and the extraordinary innovation contributed by each individual." New ALD Nano Patents 1 US Patent 9,376,750 2 US Patent 9,406,449 3 US Patent 9,196,901 4 US Patent 9,279,120 5 US Application 62/175,964 About ALD ALD is the sequential vapor phase material deposition method that forms chemically bonded, high-purity, conformal, ultra-thin films of controlled nanometer thickness. ALD generates less waste than other deposition techniques such as chemical vapor deposition, giving customers a sustainable and cost-of-ownership edge, while helping to reduce overall costs. The atomic level precision of ALD on particles, polymers and other substrates enables new or better applications of materials resulting in ALD advanced material solutions. Devices such as consumer electronics are getting smaller and more complex, requiring novel materials to solve critical issues for marketplace adoption. ALD NanoSolutions (ALD Nano) is creating cost-effective advanced materials that are transforming industries such as lighting, energy storage, consumer electronics, life sciences, fuel catalysts, water purification, sensors, and more. We're the leader in Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology on particles, with broad IP covering polymers and MEMS as well. We partner with world-leading companies that leverage our material designs and reactor systems to innovate products that benefit consumers globally. For more than a decade, we have commercialized innovative ALD technologies developed internally and through research conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder. We're headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. www.aldnanosolutions.com.


Jung Y.S.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Cavanagh A.S.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Dillon A.C.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Groner M.D.,Ald Nanosolutions, Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Electrochemical Society | Year: 2010

Ultrathin atomic layer deposition (ALD) coatings enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Previous studies have demonstrated that LiCoO2 cathode powders coated with metal oxides with thicknesses of ∼100 to 1000 Å grown using wet chemical techniques improved LIB performance. In this study, LiCoO2 powders were coated with conformal Al2O3 ALD films with thicknesses of only ∼3 to 4 Å established using two ALD cycles. The coated LiCoO2 powders exhibited a capacity retention of 89% after 120 charge-discharge cycles in the 3.3-4.5 V (vs Li/Li+) range. In contrast, the bare LiCoO2 powders displayed only a 45% capacity retention. Al2O3 ALD films coated directly on the composite electrode also produced improved capacity retention. This dramatic improvement may result from the ultrathin Al2O3 ALD film acting to minimize Co dissolution or reduce surface electrolyte reactions. Similar experiments with ultrathin ZnO ALD films did not display enhanced performance. © 2009 The Electrochemical Society.


King D.M.,University of Colorado at Boulder | King D.M.,Ald Nanosolutions, Inc. | Liang X.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Weimer A.W.,University of Colorado at Boulder
Powder Technology | Year: 2012

The functionalization of fine primary particles, including nanoparticles and nanotubes, is easily carried out using atomic or molecular layer deposition (ALD or MLD, respectively) techniques. Particle ALD/MLD can be used to deposit conformal and pinhole-free films of refractory oxides, non-oxides, metals, and hybrid polymer-based materials, amongst others. Fluidized bed reactors are well-suited for large scale operations and can be operated at reduced pressures while using inert gases necessary for standard self-limiting, flow-based ALD/MLD processes. The continuous-flow processing allows for process control using an in-line mass spectrometer downstream from the reactor chamber. Many insulating, semiconducting, metallic, polymeric and hybrid inorganic/organic films have been successfully deposited on primary particle surfaces in fluidized bed reactors using a variety of precursor types. This paper reviews some of the Particle ALD/MLD work carried out by the authors, including techniques and measurements used in Particle ALD/MLD. Some current and future applications of functionalized or passivated nanomaterials are also highlighted here. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Jung Y.S.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Jung Y.S.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Cavanagh A.S.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Riley L.A.,University of Colorado at Boulder | And 7 more authors.
Advanced Materials | Year: 2010

Direct atomic layer deposition (ALD) on composite electrodes leads to ultrathin conformai protective coatings without disrupting inter-particle electronic pathways. Al2O3coated natural graphite (NG) electrodes obtained by direct ALD on the as-formed electrode show exceptionally durable capacity retention even at an elevated temperature of 50°C. In sharp contrast, ALD on powder results In poorer cycle retention than bare NC. (Figure Presented) © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2011

ALD NanoSolutions, Inc. is developing flexible gas diffusion barriers to enable FOLEDs, thin film photovoltaics and other devices to be fabricated on polymer substrates in a novel roll-to-roll ALD process. Multilayer barriers films consisting of nanometer thick inorganic and organic layers can be fabricated using atomic layer deposition (ALD) and molecular layer deposition (MLD) techniques. By interspersing the already excellent nanometer thick Al2O3 ALD barrier films with thin, flexible polymeric MLD layers, we can create flexible ultrabarriers. The very low water vapor transmission rates (WVTR) of these ALD/MLD film will be tested using our improved Calcium test. Flexibility of these ALD/MLD multilayer films will be characterized using advanced cracking detection methods and optimized using modeling of the strains in multilayer film stacks. Meeting the aggressive Phase II targets of<1x10-6 g/m2/day WVTR and 5% strain requires a combination of a thorough understanding of the mechanics of a multilayer films, the precise control afforded by ALD/MLD techniques, and advanced testing and characterization methods. Commercialization of these ALD/MLD ultrabarriers will be developed in pilot scale roll-to-roll ALD processing. Using our initial proof-of-concept work, we will build a continuous, multi-cycle, atmospheric ALD deposition head to pioneer ALD on a moving flexible web substrate.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

There is significant opportunity for energy efficiency improvements in the industrial and manufacturing sectors in the U.S., both from the production and consumption perspective. Higher energy density battery materials will play a role in both, through improved storage of electricity from renewable sources, the enabling of electric vehicles, and through the development of longer lasting, higher power batteries for small personal devices. In order to insure that the U.S. remains the leader in the global manufacturing sector, it is imperative that known nanotechnology-enabled solutions be scaled-up such that the generational gains that will be made by first-to-market products, are made by U.S. companies and use flexible, responsible, lean manufacturing techniques. A nanotechnology-enabled route to produce superior battery electrode materials with enhanced dispersability and improved corrosion resistance has been developed, and can be applied to many types of batteries. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: This Phase I proposal includes the two-pronged approach of the validation of a novel nanomanufacturing process, and the simultaneous provision of nano-encapsulated particles with enhanced dispersability and corrosion resistance to the market leader in the alkaline battery market. The follow-on Phase II work will involve the construction of a series of inexpensive, modular, high-throughput reactors to achieve production levels of tons per year. This technique can not only revolutionize the battery industry, but can also supplant many existing particle coating processes that are energy intensive and waste significant amounts of raw materials due to the `overbuilding


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.00K | Year: 2010

ALD NanoSolutions, Inc. will develop flexible gas diffusion barriers for polymer substrates that will enable flexible electronic devices such as flexible OLEDs and thin film photovoltaics. The multilayer barriers films will consist of nanometer thick, flexible inorganic and organic layers formed using atomic layer deposition (ALD) and molecular layer deposition (MLD) techniques. Al2O3 ALD films which have previously demonstrated excellent barrier properties will be interspersed with thin, flexible polymeric MLD layers to create flexible ultrabarriers. These ALD/MLD barriers will be fabricated and tested for their water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) using the Calcium test. The flexibility of the ALD/MLD multilayers will be characterized by measuring the critical strain for multilayer film cracking. This novel approach can produce barrier films meeting the Phase I targets of


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2009

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Technology Transfer Research Phase I project seeks to develop functionalized nanocoatings on fibers that will improve the adhesion of fibers to rubber. The better coupling of the fiber will enhance the rubber performance. The better coupling of fiber in rubber will improve the stiffness, toughness and durability of the rubber/fiber composite material. Successful commercialization of this research can result in improved performance and longevity for tires, tubing and other industrial applications.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

There is significant opportunity for energy efficiency improvements throughout the global industrial and manufacturing sectors. Significant energy efficiencies have been made by manufacturers of domestically produced goods, but with the rise in export of manufacturing to countries with poor energy regulations have increased the energy footprint of consumer goods being imported back into the U.S. This project seeks to improve the stability and lifetime of supported metal catalysts used in the manufacture of commodity goods. Improvements to catalyst lifetime will decrease the energy consumed to produce commodity goods, independent of where the production occurs. The nanotechnology-enabled solution being implemented is a method of producing nanoscale porous films, or nets, to stabilize platinum nanoclusters. The nanoporous films will be deposited using Molecular Layer Deposition, and will be applied to commercial platinum-based catalysts as well as platinum produced using the Atomic Layer Deposition process. These techniques are rapid, scalable, are performed at low temperatures, and can be operated while producing little to no waste. In addition to these positive attributes, the processes are run with nanoscale precision which leads to a product with reproducible quality. The FCC reaction is the largest consumer of energy across the industrial/manufacturing sectors, and improvements to the catalysts used in this reaction will deliver significant global energy efficiencies. This is a platform technology that can also be applied to other supported metal catalyst powders to achieve similar global energy efficiencies. This nanotechnology-driven solution will be manufactured domestically and can be exported globally to achieve U.S. nanomanufacturing initiative goals. Honing the production of pilot-scale batches of stabilized catalyst powders during Phase I will allow for pilot-scale reaction data to be obtained in the Phase II work plan for FCC reactions and other catalyst/reaction systems.

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