QuantumSphere’s manufacturing process is an adaptation of the gas phase condensation (GPC) method covered by proprietary trade secrets and other key intellectual property. Metal is vaporized using resistance heat at a temperature beyond the boiling point of the material, until a sufficient rate of vaporization is achieved. Through automated computer control of the metal flux, chamber pressure, temperature and gas flow, metal and metal alloy nanoparticles are manufactured with the desired size and particle distribution. The resistance heated vapor condensation method provides the best quality metal and metal alloy nanoparticles with the lowest level of agglomeration and fewest impurities in the marketplace. This method is the clear choice for low-cost commercial production of uniform, reproducible, advanced metals and catalysts at the nano scale (see QSI product profiles for additional technical info).

Intellectual Property
The patent for QuantumSphere’s platform GPC process was awarded October 16, 2007 and includes seventy-three broad claims on the manufacturing system that produces advanced metals and catalysts at the nano scale. Additional patent applications have been filed covering composition of nano alloys, unique dispersions/formulations, process chemistries, several commercial devices (for batteries, fuel cells, solar and hydrogen generation), as well as other clean-tech applications enabled by the use of QSI’s advanced catalyst materials.

Competing Technologies
Synthetic or man-made nano scale materials were first created in the 1970’s using the gas phase condensation method. Today, there are dozens of processes for producing nano scale materials worldwide. These processes include chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor deposition, reactive sputtering, laser pyrolysis, plasma gun spray conversion, mechanical alloying, grinding and sol gel. Most of these processes are relatively expensive and require sophisticated and complex equipment and labor intensive maintenance. In addition, these methods may result in products with inconsistent particle size, distribution, shape and impurities with little ability to scale up to commercial quantities at reasonable prices.

Our Process
QuantumSphere’s patented process is safe, environmentally friendly, fully automated and requires low supervision and little down time for reactor maintenance. Unlike competitive processes, we have literally removed the potential for human error and expensive labor from the manufacturing equation. Our increased production rates combined with lower labor and conversion costs have enabled commercial application of these advanced materials by industry leading companies commercializing multiple consumer and industrial products. With the ability to deliver high quality nano scale catalysts in commercial quantities at reasonable prices, QuantumSphere and its partners are opening the door to allow for mass market penetration and accelerated commercialization of these new advanced materials.

At QuantumSphere, our primary focus is to produce ultra-fine advanced materials and catalysts that enhance the performance of our customers’ end-use products. We manufacture our metal and metal alloy nanoparticles according to our customer’s specifications and maintain a very narrow particle size range. In order to ensure the quality of our product, we analyze each batch before it is shipped using analytical techniques such as: BET surface area measurement, TGA thermal analysis for oxide shell thickness, x-ray diffraction, elemental analysis, and electron microscopy. Batch sizes can be adjusted to the requirements of our customers.

Environmentally Friendly
Our manufacturing facility and production process personnel follow strict NIOSH best practice guidelines for handling nanomaterials (see QSI EH&S section for more details). To our knowledge, QuantumSphere manufactures the highest quality nano scale metal catalysts in the industry without compromising our commitment to employee safety and the environment. As a result, we do not use hazardous chemicals or toxic gases in our manufacturing process. There is no solid, liquid or hazardous waste stream generated. We simply utilize electricity and helium gas and the result is a greater than 85% yield of high quality nano scale catalysts from feedstock; unprocessed raw metals are completely recyclable.