2018 MRS Fall Meeting Home

iMatSci Innovators

The iMatSci Innovation Showcase provides a platform for technology leaders at universities, research laboratories and startup companies to demonstrate the practical applications of their innovative, materials-based technologies. The goal of this program is to convene innovators, industry leaders and investors in one location to spur collaboration that accelerates the adoption of new materials technologies for real-world applications.

The following Innovators will have their technologies on display Tuesday, November 27, from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, and Wednesday, November 28, from 10:00 am – 8:30 pm. Speed pitches will be presented Tuesday from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Awards will be presented Wednesday from 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm.

All events will take place in the Hynes, Level 2, The Hub—Hall D.

Booth 1—AirCrew Technologies, Inc.
Innovation: Catalysts for Reducing Automotive Emissions

AirCrewTechnologies LogoAt AirCrew, we enable clean transportation by reducing automotive greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions (up to 1.5 gigatons of CO2-eq) through tackling problems associated with catalytic converters ($10 billion market). We address key industry challenges by providing benefits in catalyst cold start improvement, operating temperature decrease, longevity extension, and cost savings. The patented platform technology was developed at Harvard University and has applications in multiple verticals, including fuel cells and electrolysis, energy storage, and indoor air purification. We are raising a seed round to scale our technology, validate key performance criteria, and establish a path to market.

Team: Sissi Liu
Contact: aircrewtech@gmail.com, 616.977.4658

Booth 2—Cypris
Innovation: Paintable Heat-Reflective Coatings for Low-Cost Energy Efficient Windows

Cypris is developing an inexpensive, do-it-yourself paintable transparent and heat-reflective window coating to retrofit inefficient windows and decrease building cooling loads in warm climates. Our patented technology enables coatings which can selectively reflect undesirable near-infrared radiation from the sun, while maintaining high visible transparency of the window glass. These coatings are composed of commercially available plastic but are distinct in their ability to be applied as a paint. Cypris’ modular material will find widespread application in industries such as windows, architectural coatings, sensing, and apparel.

Team: Matthew Ryan, Garret Miyake
Contact: matthew.ryan@colostate.edu

Booth 3—The ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), Deakin University
Innovation: Harvesting Low Grade Waste Heat Using Thermocells

ACES Deakin University LogoACES has developed a range of redox active electrolytes for converting low-grade waste heat directly into electricity. Thermoelectrochemical cells (thermocells) incorporating these electrolytes are ideally suited for supplying continuous power for low voltage applications such as remote sensors, small wearable electronics or supporting the internet of things. Thermocells can be flexible, allowing them to be wrapped around hot pipes and ultimately facilitating their low-cost manufacturing by reel-to-reel printing. The materials and devices can be tailored to the application, e.g. water-based electrolytes for wearables or ionic liquid-based for industrial waste heat <150 °C, and all electrolytes can be gelled to prevent leakage.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Jenny Pringle, Danah Al-Masri, Matthew Russo, Doug MacFarlane
Contact: j.pringle@deakin.edu.au, +613.92446391

Booth 4—Grime Busters
Innovation: “Plashtic” Oil Remediation Product

“Plashtic” is a product made of completely waste materials, thermoplastics and coal ash, that effectively and cheaply collects oil.  The captured oil can be easily reclaimed for use and the Plashtic recycled into more Plashtic.  The invention is non-wetable, floats on water is easily compactable.  Plashtic answers several problems: what to do with waste plastics, what to do with coal ash, how do we clean large and small oil spills, and how do we reclaim all of the spilled oil for use.  Plasthic is the answer.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Tommy Hall and William Blanch, Fayetteville State University
Contact: dila@uncfsu.edu, 910.672.2417

Booth 5—IIIA Industries
Innovation: Boron Extraction Reinvented

IIIA Industries LogoBoron exhibits a fascinating chemistry making the element essential to a wide variety of industries, ranging from automotive to health care to energy. However, current boron extraction methods involve costly, inefficient processes. At a staggering 10 M$/t-B and modest global capacity of around 100 t-B/y, production of cheap, high purity elemental boron remains a significant barrier for many applications. Our technology enables a scalable, low-cost and low-environmental impact method for producing high purity boron (>99wt%) at orders of magnitude lower cost. Further, our technology offers the additional benefit of enabling continuous operation with a significantly increased yield.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Brad Nakanishi, Andrew Caldwell, Lucas Caretta
Contact: bostonboron@mit.edu

Booth 6—Kinetic Batteries, LLC
Innovation: Kinetic Spray Electrode Consolidation (K-SEC)

Kinetic Batteries has developed and patented the first scalable additive manufacturing technology for battery production, which will reduce costs, save energy, and allow engineers to design conformal, fully dense, solid state batteries that would be otherwise impossible to produce. The future of energy storage depends on the price of batteries dropping from $250/kWh today to below $100/kWh to achieve market-wide adoption in major industries like electric vehicles. The K-SEC process will result in savings of more than 40% over the current process, enabling battery manufacturers to realize these targets as much as two years earlier than is currently being projected.

Team: Aaron Birt, Diran Apelian, Joseph Heelan
Contact: aaron.birt@kinetic.batteries.com, 717.602.5158

Booth 9—Membrion, Inc.
Innovation: Ultra-Low-Cost Ceramic Nanoporous Membranes with Tunable Porosity

Membrion LogoMembrion has found the solution to longer lasting batteries, clean water and lower cost pharmaceuticals hiding in the bottom of a beef jerky package. They figured out a way to transform silica gel into a low-cost and durable nanoporous membrane with tunable porosity. Currently, Membrion membranes have been optimized for ion exchange capabilities where they have shown the same chemical durability and ion transport properties as industry leading Nafion. However, they are 1/10th the cost to produce. This is important because ion exchange membranes often account for 20-40% of the system costs for technologies that rely on them. Membrion's innovation allows these systems to radically lower their costs and gain market share in their respective industries. Membrion has raised > $2.5M in 2.5 years and already has commercial prototypes that have been distributed to customers. First sales are anticipated in mid-2019. 

Team: Greg Newbloom
Contact: greg@membrion.con, 206.276.2944

Booth 10—National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Innovation: Ultra-Efficient, Ultra Low Cost III-V Multijunction Solar Cells

Dynamic Hydride Vapor Epitaxy (“D-HVPE”) is an alternative growth mechanism for high-efficiency (30%+) solar cells based on GaAs and GaInP.  While comparable solar cells are commercially available today, they are prohibitively expensive (>$100/W) for many desirable applications.  When grown with D-HVPE, however, identical solar cells may be grown at significantly lower expense (~$1-$10/W).  D-HVPE’s low cost, when combined with the inherent features of III-V materials (light weight, flexibility, and high efficiency), will enable photovoltaic devices to be a viable power source in the next generation of weight-, space-, or power-constrained applications such as UAVs, portable electronic devices, or electric vehicles.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Kelsey Horowitz, Bill Hadley, Aaron Ptak
Contact: Kelsey.horowitz@nrel.gov, 303.275.4347

Booth 11—Opcondys
Innovation: Photonically-Controlled Power Electronic Device Using Wide Bandgap Materials

Opcondys LogoOpcondys is developing an innovative photoconductive wide bandgap (WBG) power electronic device for a wide variety of commercial applications. Controlled by light, the Optical Transconductance Varistor (OTV) switches over 10 times faster than semiconductor devices, reducing switching losses by 50% and providing greater energy efficiency. The OTV operates at more than 15 kV, allowing one device to replace many semiconductor devices in equipment for the electric grid, radar, and many other industrial, medical and food processing applications. These advantages give the OTV the ability to capture a significant portion of the $5 billion market for power electronic modules.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Kristin Sampayan
Contact: kristinsa@opcondys.com, 209.401.4251

Booth 12—Parc, a Xerox Company
Innovation: Redox-Assisted Dehumidification Air Conditioning

Parc LogoPARC’s RAD-AC (Redox-Assisted Dehumidification Air-Conditioning) system can reduce the energy needed to run air conditioning by 60% while providing improved air quality – all with a 2-3-year payback period relative to conventional air conditioning. The savings come from an ultra-efficient dehumidification system that removes moisture from the air into a liquid desiccant, which is regenerated using PARC’s electrochemical desiccant regenerator. RAD-AC will facilitate massive energy savings nationwide and beyond, and democratize access to heat relief. The technology also enables practical, distributed, dispatchable peak shaving and load-shifting because regeneration is decoupled from cooling and can occur when energy costs are low.

Team: Eugene Beh, Michael Benedict, Elif Karatay, Jessy Rivest
Contact: Eugene.Beh@parc.com, 650.812.4755

Booth 13—University of Colorado Boulder
Innovation: Thermally Super-Insulating, Flexible, and Transparent Aerogels for Windows

About 25% of the energy used to heat or cool a building literally goes right out the window. Leading products such as triple-pane metalized windows are costly, alter the appearance of the window, and are taxing to retrofit within existing architecture. To tackle this problem, we have developed transparent, thermally super-insulating cellulose-based aerogels which are flexible and economical. They can be inserted between new panes or retrofitted onto existing single-pane windows, greatly enhancing insulating performance and lowering energy costs. We are excited to team up with investors to broadly commercialize this award-winning NASA iTech energy-efficiency technology developed under ARPA-E support.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Ivan Smalyukh, Andrew Hess, Vladyslav Cherpak, Blaise Fleury, Joshua De La Cruz
Contact: andrew.j.hess@colorado.edu, 303.492.0514

Booth 14—Virginia Commonwealth University
Innovation: Transparent Aerogel for Window Applications

Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T), and Fraunhofer CSE develop a transparent aerogel that can be used to insulate existing single-pane windows cost-effectively in this ARPA-E funded project. The VCU-led team is modifying the chemistry and processing of nanoporous silica aerogels to reduce the cost of production and increase transparency of the material for use in window retrofits. The researchers' improvements could result in better-performing, more affordable silica aerogels for window retrofits, and will possibly cut the cost of aerogels in half.

Team: Massimo F. Bertino, Nicholas Leventis, Nitin Shukla
Contact: mfbertino@vcu.edu, 804.828.6343

Booth 15—Dragon Spectral
Innovation: Switchable Hyperspectral Filter

DragonSpectral LogoDragon Spectral has commercialized a radical new hyperspectral filter technology invented at Drexel University. This new filter technology, based on holographic polymer dispersed liquid crystals, can be used to create custom designed filters that transmit or block specific wavelengths or patterns of wavelengths across the entire light spectrum (ultraviolet to visible to near-infrared). Unlike current commercially available hyperspectral imaging systems, our filters are lightweight electro-optic devices which can be switched in microseconds between light transmitting and light blocking states, enabling new CMOS imager architectures in a miniature form factor. Countless applications may potentially disrupt the $75B imaging ecosystem.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Adam Fontecchio, Katie Van Aken
Contact: klv43@drexel.edu, 215.895.2038

Booth 16—Nano OPS, Inc.
Innovation: Printing of Nano and Microscale Electronics and Sensors

NanoOPS LogoNano OPS, Inc. presents a disruptive technology for printing nano and micro electronics and sensors. Our printing technology costs 10 to 100 times less than conventional fabrication. It can print circuits a 1000 times smaller and a 1000 times faster than inkjet or 3D printing. Nano OPS, Inc. manufactures and markets two product lines: Fully automated printing systems for printing micro and nanoscale electronics with integrated alignment and registration with optional annealing and inspection. The second product is printed wireless sensor system technology that include chemical or bio sensors in addition to temperature, humidity, and other environmental sensors.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Ahmed Busnaina, Zhimin Chai, Salman Abbasi
Contact: CTO@nano-ops.net, www.nano-ops.net

Booth 17—Arieca LLC
Innovation: Thermally Conductive Rubber—Thubber

Arieca LLC LogoArieca is a materials technology company solving heat management issues for the electronics, aerospace and automotive industries with its thermally conductive rubber (Thubber), which has the mechanical properties of a soft silicone and heat conducting properties approaching stainless steel.
Ultrasoft: elasticity of soft silicone (100 kPa modulus; 600% strain limit)
Thermally conductive: thermal conductivity (~5-10 W/mŸK) which approaches that of steel
Tear resistant: metal-like fracture toughness (10-30 kJ/m2) that is 25-50x greater than conventional silicone rubber

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Carmel Majidi, Navid Kazem, Eric Markvicka
Contact: info@arieca.com, 919.741.7549, www.arieca.com

Booth 18—DiamFab
Innovation: Diamond Epitaxy Provider for Future Power Electronics

DiamFab LogoDiamond is the next generation semiconductor material for high power electronic applications with its unique electrical and thermal properties. Based on its expertise in diamond epitaxy, DiamFab produces bare die device ready diamond. On a well selected substrate, the desired layers of p-type diamond are grown by Plasma enhanced CVD with a wide range of doping level and thickness. The DiamFab epitaxial layer is the key part of the electronic component and its properties directly determine performances of devices. DiamFab material is electronic grade and is ready for electronic devices fabrication but can also be used for other applications.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Gauthier Chicot, David Eon, Julien Pernot, Khaled Driche, Etienne Gheeraert
Contact: Gauthier.chicot@diamfab.eu, +33 6 25 35 22 31

Booth 19—Molecular Glasses, Inc.
Innovation: Making OLED Materials Matter

Molecular Glasses LogoThe full potential of OLED technology is held back by performance and cost barriers inherent in traditional small molecule and polymer materials. Molecular Glasses, a global leader in advanced organic materials innovation, has introduced OLEDIQ™, a revolutionary new class of organic semiconductor materials poised to eliminate these issues.

  1. NON-CRYSTALLYZABLE: Soluble small molecules prevent aggregation of dopant emitters
  2. LONG-LIFETIME: An ideal platform for high- efficiency, long-lasting blue OLEDs.
  3. FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING: Compatible with both leading production processes.

Molecular Glasses is located in Rochester, New York, the optics capital of the nation. The Molecular Glasses  team brings over 100 years of combined experience in materials science and engineering.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Mike Molaire, Mark Juba, Mark Sperry
Contact: mikemolaire@molecularglasses.com, 585.210.2861

Booth 20—Singapore University of Technology and Design
Innovation: A Design for a Better Type of Memory. Potentially Eliminating the Need for RAM and Flash Drive

Desmond Loke and his colleagues aim to use their universal-memory technology candidate to replace the combination of flash—which is nonvolatile but non-quick—and RAM, which is fast but expensive and volatile. The Singapore researcher has developed a type of phase-change memory that is as fast as RAM and packs even more storage capacity than flash. Loke discovered he could reduce the switching time to half a nanosecond, reduce the size of memory-cell bit to few nanometers, vastly reduce power consumption, and allow cells to be stacked anywhere in three-dimension to meet ever-increasing demand on the US$134.32-billion global-memory chip market.

Team: Desmond Loke
Contact: Desmond_Loke@sutd.edu.sg, +65 6499.4511

Booth 23—Zylö Therapeutics LLC 
Innovation: Innovation: Nanopods™ Significantly Enhance Product Performance 

Zylo Therapeutics LogoOur inventors (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) developed the Nanopod™ to significantly extend the duration-of-effect of most any topical API. The Nanopod™ system is like a dermal patch, but without the cost and hassle of a patch, thereby providing a critical marketing edge to OTC and cosmetic marketers across a range of market segments. Zylö can also sustainably deliver, back into the body, Nitric Oxide (a gas), which has a duration-of-effect of less than a minute…50+ published studies of animal models (wound healing, ED) show effectiveness & safety.

Product examples: (i) Lidocaine Patchless Patch™, as lidocaine relieves pain for ~1 hour only, requiring multiple applications (or, requiring an actual patch); (ii) Topical Curcumin Supplement: curcumin has virtually no duration-of-effect, as the GI tract breaks it down first pass (iii) Vitamin E-loaded Nanopods, as vitamin E will nourish your skin for ~2 hours only (iv) CBD is similar to lidocaine in that it has a short duration-of-(localized)-effect when applied topically (v) affordable NO-releasing Nanopods™…all competing Nitric Oxide delivering systems are—by comparison—extremely expensive, inaccessible, or both.  

Team: Scott R. Pancoast
Contact: spancoast@zylotherapeutics.com, 858.775.6710

Booth 24—The Wyss Institute at Harvard University
Innovation: abbieSense—Managing Allergies Through Technology 

abbieSense: managing alergies through technologyThe Wyss Institute is developing a first-of-its-kind diagnostic device that detects and quantifies histamine, offering the 15 million Americans suffering from allergies an easy, potentially lifesaving way to manage their condition. Combining our proprietary nanocomposite sensor surfaces with our assay techniques for small target molecules, abbieSense can assess the severity of an allergic reaction within 5 minutes. When commercialized, the detector could be used in a consumer test kit, or even a wearable sensor. Beyond allergies, abbieSense will find wider application in medical diagnostics, solving the problem of surface fouling that limits the widespread adoption of microsensors in this field.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Donald E. Ingber, Pawan Jolly, Olivier Henry, Robert Cunningham
Contact: pawan.jolly@wyss.harvard.edu, 617.949.0450, https://wyss.harvard.edu/

Booth 25—IDUN Technologies Ltd.
Innovation: DryodeTM

IDUN Technologies LogoIDUN Technologies Ltd. is an electrode company based in Zurich, Switzerland. The ETH Zurich spinoff is developing and producing soft and dry electrodes for biopotential monitoring (ECG,EEG,EMG) and stimulation. With a patent-pending surface structure these electrodes provide high quality signals with skin-friendly materials without electrolyte gel. 

Team: Simon Bachmann, Séverine Chardonnens
Contact: simon@iduntechnologies.ch, +41.79.949.36.65, www.iduntechnologies.ch

Booth 26—Dentomimetix, LLC
Innovation: Biomimetic Daily Dental Health Care: Preventive, Restorative, Therapeutic & Cosmetic

Dentomimetix LogoDental caries is a prevalent oral health problem affecting >90% of the population. Demand for dental products in US will top $12.7B in 2019, with 3.4% annual increase. Current dental therapies mostly rely on replacement of defected hard tissues with synthetic dental materials. Despite long history of restorative dentistry, the success has still been clinically limited and often cause post-therapeutic problems. The team’s transformative biomimetic remineralization-based approach regenerates dentin, enamel or cementum, and restores tooth’s function. Biomimetic daily dental care formulations and procedures are preventive, restorative,

therapeutic & cosmetic.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Mehmet Sarikaya
Contact: sarikaya@uw.edu, 206.543.0724

Booth 27—Meta Cooling Technologies
Innovation: Meta-Cooling Textiles

Human beings exchange heat with the environment largely through infrared radiation. However, this heat exchange channel is not regulated in current clothing designs. Our innovative meta-cooling technology allows for the first time adaptive and autonomous regulation of this infrared channel through fabrics to expand the human thermal comfort zone, adding significant thermal management capacity without any external power. The production of meta-cooling textiles is highly scalable and compatible with industrial processing. This smart technology opens a unique opportunity to penetrate apparel industry with the potential to significantly reduce the energy use and extend our ability to survive harsh environments.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: YuHuang Wang, Zhiwei Peng
Contact: yhw@umd.edu, 301.405.3368, http://www2.chem.umd.edu/groups/wang/

Booth 28—Massachusetts Institute of Technology NanoEngineering Group
Innovation: Polyethylene Fabrics for Passive Thermoregulation

Humans worked on improving wearable technologies since the dawn of the civilization. Yet, warm clothes are still bulky, while actively cooling apparel requires embedded wiring and batteries. In contrast, polyethylene fabrics developed at MIT passively control infrared thermal radiation from the skin (US patent No. 9,951,446). This control makes possible both cooling without breaking a sweat and heating without uncomfortable metal layers. These fabrics provide high level of comfort, light weight, breathability, moisture wicking, and fast drying functionalities. They can be manufactured via standard industrial processes for use in everyday clothes, headwear, tents, bedding, bandages, gloves and face masks.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Svetlana V. Boriskina
Contact: sborisk@mit.edu, www.mit.edu/~sborisk

Booth 29—Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)


Booth 30—ACSYNAM
Innovation: Manufacturing Advanced Materials for an Evolving World

ACSYNAM manufactures and sells advanced materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). MOFs are at the forefront of materials science, with a multitude of potential commercial applications including the storage of gases, dehumidification, and carbon dioxide sequestration. However, the manufacture of MOFs is typically highly taxing energetically and uses toxic solvents, which translate to high costs and production that is noxious to the environment. ACSYNAM’s manufacturing technology avoids solvent use and uses mild reagents for the rapid, economical production of MOFs, as we develop new materials for space-related applications.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Cristina Mottillo
Contact: cmottillo@acsynam.com, 514.756.0161

Booth 31—Alkemy Environmental
Innovation: Alkemy Environmental

Alkemy synthetic lightweight aggregate offers the same performance as the mined minerals used today, costs less, and is 100% environmentally sustainable. Alkemy has already completed the commercial-scale pilot testing of its technology and has had its technology process independently certified by a 3rd party engineering firm as both commercially viable and scalable. Alkemy's aggregate product has also passed all international building standards and environmental regulations. Alkemy is now developing its first commercial plant in partnership with blue chip companies from the waste and aggregate sector. 

Team: Peter Kombouras
Contact: peter@alkemyenvironmental.com, 855.425.5369

Booth 32—Everix, Inc.
Innovation: Ultra-Thin High-Complexity Thin-Film Optical Filters Made Through Scalable Thermal Drawing

Everix LogoHigh-performance, high-complexity thin-film optical filters have been traditionally produced through vacuum coating processes which suffer from sufficient scalability for many emerging market. To produce thin-film optical filters often with over 1,000 precisely controlled and customized sublayers, Everix utilizes a novel method of thermal drawing which resembles the highly scalable optical fiber drawing. Everix filters not only provide significantly higher performance-to-cost ration compared to traditional counterparts, but also are significantly thinner (for miniaturized devices) and lighter in weight (for wearable devices), and flexible (for curved devices such as eyewear lens).

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: E. Hooman Banaei, Justin Boga, Paty Coronado, Andy Moyle, Yana Sosik
Contact: hooman@everix.co, 407.637.2987, www.everix.co 

Booth 33—Magnomer
Innovation: Magnetizable Coatings for Recyclable Plastic Packaging

Magnomer LogoPoorly designed packaging is the root-cause of low plastics recycling. Magnomer’s patent pending technology delivers magnetizable coatings on packaging to design for recycling. Our food-safe coatings can be applied to standard bottle caps or shrink sleeves thus transforming them into products which complement magnetic separation equipment widely used by MRFs or reclaimers. Magnomer enhances recycling by easing technological bottlenecks in materials segregation at low cost.

Watch a video of the demonstration »

Team: Ravish Majithia, Vishal Salian, Kumaril Kapadia
Contact: ravishmajithia@magnomer.com

Booth 34—SysteMECH, Inc
Innovation: Direct Die-Placement Technology

Systemech LogosysteMECH’s direct die-placement (DDP) technology enables the placement of thin and ultra-thin silicon chips directly onto flexible substrates to manufacture flexible hybrid electronic (FHE) devices. Designed with the FHE industry in mind, DDP exploits the mechanical flexibility of thin substrates and carrier tapes to achieve component transfer in a single step, eliminating the time, materials, and yield challenges that are common when transferring thin semiconductor dies with conventional pick-and-place methods. systeMECH’s next-generation printing technology will enable high-volume manufacturing and widespread deployment of high-performance, lightweight, and low-cost flexible and stretchable systems. 

Team: David S. Grierson, Kevin T. Turner
Contact: dsgrierson@systemech.com, 1.608.571.4327