NANO FIRMS PREFER SMALL STEPS
Chemical & Engineering News, Aug. 9, 2004
Nanotechnology companies are finding success with smaller rather than bigger business leaps. Citing adverse market conditions, Nanosys has withdrawn its plans for an initial public offering of about $100 million in stock. The IPO was being watched as a gauge of investor sentiment for nanotechnology. Nanosys, which has collaborations with Intel, Eastman Kodak, DuPont, and others, has developed processes to synthesize inorganic semiconductor nanostructures, but it has no commercial products. Taking smaller steps is start-up QuantumSphere, which is opening a facility in Costa Mesa, Calif., where it will manufacture a projected 2,500 lb of nanoaluminum and nanonickel powders per month for aerospace, defense, and energy applications such as propellants and munitions. This is step two after the company’s proof-of-concept reactor produced high-purity aluminum and zinc oxide nanoparticles for surface applications. And NanoSonic, a Virginia Tech spin-off, has signed a collaboration agreement with Lockheed Martin aimed at materials and coatings. NanoSonic’s technology of interest, electrostatic self-assembly, was developed by Virginia Tech physicist Richard O. Claus, who is also president of the company. The technology permits multiple nanocluster layers of material to be deposited on a charged substrate. A recent NanoSonic development is Metal Rubber, which is both stretchy and conducting.