Shape-controlled Silver Nanoparticle Ink (ArgentInkTM)


New Market Opportunity:
Silver nanoparticle inks have applications in a wide number of fields across the electronics, physics, chemistry and biomedical fields. The optical absorption characteristics of the silver nanoparticles are critical to their functionality in all applications. The control of the shape and dimension of the silverShape-controlled Silver Nanoparticle Ink ( nanoparticles, within a tight range, and the ability to programmably change the target size and shape of the silver nanoparticles in an aqueous-based ink, capable of production in large volumes, is a key enabling platform technology which has not been available before. This platform technology also opens market opportunities for applications of silver nanoparticles in a wide range of sectors, including:
  • conductive inks
  • printed electronics and circuit boards
  • improved solar cells and photovoltaic fuel cells
  • electronic and optoelectronic packaging
  • surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy
  • metal-enhanced fluorescence
  • tunable optical filters
  • photonic crystals
  • paints, colorants and pigments
  • cosmetics and filters
  • catalysis
  • composite materials
  • mesoscale construction

    Market Size:
    The market case for the ArgentInkTM platform technology and its applications is compelling. The global nanotechnology market is estimated at €20 billion in 2008 rising to €700 billion by 2015. The ArgentInkTM platform technology IP bundle addresses market segments across all major fields of nanotechnology applications, specific niches of which are of high value. The market for electronic inks and related substrate materials for printed electronics is estimated to reach €5.5 billion by 2012. Product penetration of silver nanotechnology is also high. For example, up to 35% of the textiles shipped to the EU will be silver treated by 2010.

    Technology Description:
    Researchers in the Dept. of Experimental Physics and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway have developed a Shape-controlled Silver Nanoparticle Ink platform technology, made using the patented SilverFluidicsTM process. Scaled up production of our silver nanoparticle ink is currently routinely carried out using our newly developed pioneering production technology, which is also patent pending. One reactor line has been built for pilot scale manufacturing. Litre batches per hour of aqueous solution are currently produced. Shaped nanoplates such as triangular nanoplates, are usually produced, a typical example having a diameter of 28nm ± 9.5% and a height of 13nm ± 5%.

    Principal Investigators:
    Dr. Margaret Brennan-Fournet, School of Physics, and NCBES, Dr. Patrick Fournet, NCBES.

    Competitive Advantage and IP Status:
    The NUI Galway team has developed a new robust method of production of large volumes of silver nanoparticles with major advantages over existing technologies:
  • litres per hour per production line - equivalent to tens of tons of ink solution per year
  • sub-100 nm (as low as 15 nm) silver nanoparticles
  • narrow nanoparticle size distribution (e.g. <10% about 28 nm median)
  • high degree of non-spherical shape control
  • high silver nanotriangle to silver nanosphere ratio
  • ability to produce silver nanodisks
  • aqueous-based chemistry; stable in aqueous solution
  • main UV-visible absorption in blue-yellow range
  • demonstrated tunability of absorption across visible spectrum range
  • absorption peak FWHM less than 130 nm

    A patent application has been filed to protect the IP relating to this Shape-controlled Silver Nanoparticle Ink, and further patents are pending in relation to the SilverFluidicsTM process. Other background IP supporting the nanoparticulate ink technology has also been filed.

    Type of Business Sought
    Licensing opportunities, joint ventures, start-ups

    Contacts
    Dr. Pat Kelly
    Commercialisation Executive
    ignite Technology Transfer
    National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland.
    Phone: +353-91 49-5663 / 2147, Fax: +353-91-526388. Email: pvkelly@nuigalway.ie

    Dr. Maura Glennon
    Lifescience & Food Commercialisation,
    Enterprise Ireland, (EI Bio), NUI, Galway.
    Phone: +353-91 492093, Fax: +353-91-495683
    Email: Maura.Glennon@enterprise-ireland.com

    EI Bio works in partnership with NUI Galway to commercialise the technology



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