Nanomaterials offer remarkable optical and electronic properties, tremendous strength and flexibility, and exceptional thermal and chemical stability, all of which can be controlled by the size, shape, and composition of the nanoscale particles. Dramatically expanding the performance potential of existing materials, nanotechnology promises exciting new possibilities for applications in aerospace and defense, health care and energy storage, communication technologies and body armor, to name just a few.
The first practical challenge is to transition the astounding properties observed at nanometer scale to macroscale and to real products – to make them functional for devices and machine components. This requires unorthodox approaches to materials design as well as fine control over the composition of the materials and the interactions among the nanoscale components. The task can be accomplished using materials manufacturing technologies developed by Nico Technologies.
The second practical challenge is to realize unusual combinations of high mechanical properties, transparency, ionic conductivity, electronic conductivity, biocompatibility, charge storage capacity, and low specific density. Finding a material with special combination of different properties is a bottleneck of most advanced technologies now. Our manufacturing processes afford “dialing” specific properties into materials to whatever extent our customers require.
In 2009 the manufacturing technology developed in collaboration with the University of Michigan and being utilized by our company won an R&D 100 Award. We typically work with gram - to kilogram scales of the materials production. We have developed scaled-up methods of materials manufacturing that can be applied to different production processes.