Lhadi Merhari CERAMEC
Maximilian Biberger SDCmaterials, Inc.
David Cruikshank ARCH Venture Partners
Mirjam Theelen TNO Science and Industry-Materials Technology
Dow Chemical Company
HH1: Challenges in Nanomaterial Production Scale-up, NanoManufacturing and NanoFabrication I
Tuesday AM, April 26, 2011
Room 3018 (Moscone West)
9:30 AM - **HH1.1
Doing Business in Chemical Nanotechnology: From Molecules to Product Applications.
Sanjay Mathur 1 Show Abstract
1 Institute of Materials and Inorganic Chemistry, University of Cologne, Cologne, NRW, Germany
The successful synthesis, modification and assembly of nanobuilding units such as nanocrystals,-wires and –tubes of different materials have generated great expectations and quest for nanotech solutions, for the future needs of the mankind. Despite the large body of data available on the synthesis of inorganic nanostructures, the progress on their integration in practical technologies had been marginal so far. One of the major bottlenecks in transferring nanotechnology from the laboratories into industry is our limited ability to demonstrate scaled-up synthesis and the value addition in final products. In this context, chemical nanotechnology offers a plausible way to produce nanomaterials in adequate quantities, which can be formulated as nano-intermediates and are ready for use in conjunction with conventional technologies. This talk will show how chemically processed nanostructures open up new vistas of material properties for industrial applications, and lead to innovation generators based on fundmentally new physical, chemical and mechanical properties resulting from the reduction of micro-structural features by two to three orders of magnitude, when compared to current engineering materials.
10:00 AM - **HH1.2
Scalable Manufacturing and Business Challenges in Nanotechnology.
Partha Dutta 1 2 Show Abstract
1 ECSE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, United States, 2 , Auterra Inc., Malta, New York, United States
Nano-science offers a world of nano-scale materials with new properties that are significantly different than the properties of bulk materials as well as materials that are created by exploiting the fundamental physics, chemistry and biology of matter. Nano-technology offers the new tools and methodologies for creating nano-scale materials with the new properties. Nano-manufacturing offers platform technologies that enable the creation of nano-scale materials in large scale in an economical, reliable and environmentally safe ways. Nano-business offers the opportunity to translate these new man-made materials into real world applications that benefits the global society and our environment. Bridging the gap between nano-science and nano-business is where a large number of new start-up companies are involved. With new molecular level awareness at the intersection between chemistry, physics and biology, there is ever increasing curiosity about new functionalities and paradigm shifting technologies. Technologists are highly optimistic about emerging greener and cleaner products based on nano-scale material properties. In this talk, I will share my personal learning experiences through the start-up company, Auterra Inc.. Auterra Inc. is an inorganic materials development company with its Molecular Control Platform (MCP) Technology that is being used to create new inorganic molecules for custom applications in organic material systems. The flexibility and organic compatibility of the designed molecules are enabled through ligand attachment sites and nano-particle growth capabilities. This new technology platform enables molecules to form nano-particle with very tight size distributions. Recently Auterra Inc. has emerged as a clean energy company, specializing in catalyst and process technology for the decontamination and upgrading of crude oil and oil distillates. Two of the major issues in nanotechnology business, namely, (a) identification of sustainable revenue generating end products and (b) scalable, reliable and economical manufacturing process will be discussed in this talk.
10:30 AM - **HH1.3
Finding and Commercializing Technology Based Growth Options.
Stephen Hahn 1 Show Abstract
1 Ventures and Business Development, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, United States
The Ventures and Business Development group actively searches to identify emerging business opportunities in technology areas that are of strategic interest to Dow Chemical Company. Our purpose is to find and analyze new technologies and technology-based companies whose work speaks to Dow’s ongoing chemicals, materials, energy, and agricultural businesses. These newly established opportunity spaces present new market opportunities but should also take advantage of our existing capabilities. The Ventures and Business Development group is a corporate level organization that is improving our ability to identify sources early, and constructing participation models by which we can interact strategically with early-stage technology developers. This work to evaluate emerging technology identification activity is closely coupled with a systematic business and financial analysis that provides a framework for focused investment and development. This presentation will focus on our search for new technology arenas, the technical/commercial analysis process, and examples of successful commercialization activities.
11:30 AM - **HH1.4
Understanding the Functionality of Nanomaterials through In Situ Characterization in the Electron Microscope.
Peter Crozier 1 Show Abstract
1 School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States
Nanotechnology is built on the unique functionalities associated with nanomaterials and nanostructured systems. In many technological applications, the materials components may undergo dynamic changes due to external stimuli which exist under working conditions. These stimuli depend on the application and may involve exposure to heat, gas, magnetic fields, electric fields, stress, light, liquid etc… The unique and technologically important functionality of the material depends not only on the small size scale of the system but also on the response of the system to these external stimuli. There is growing recognition of the importance of characterizing nanomaterials in their working conditions. This is particularly important where the functionality is derived from a phase transformation process or the relevant phase of the material exists only in the presence of the stimulus. This is important not only for applications involving exposure to high temperatures, gases or liquid but may also be important in applications involving electric/magnetic fields, light and stress. Characterizing materials in their working state has led to the development of in situ techniques. In situ characterization is essential to develop a fundamental understanding of the structure-property relations underpinning technologically relevant functionality. For nanomaterials, in situ electron microscopy techniques are now recognized as critical for progress in developing novel functionalities. Recent developments in this field including novel TEM sample holders and aberration correction have accelerated the range of in situ techniques that are currently possible. This presentation will provide a broad overview of in situ electron microscopy characterization of nanomaterials. Examples will be drawn from the authors work on energy-related materials operating under reactive gas, heat and light. The latest in situ characterization developments of special relevance to nanomaterials will be reviewed and described.
12:00 PM - HH1.5
Development of the High Durability Silver Mirror Painting System.
Satoru Hashimoto 1 , Teruyoshi Hirano 2 , Osamu Okitsu 2 , Tae-Youb Kim 3 , Shuichi Maeda 4 Show Abstract
1 , HYOUKAKEN Co., Ltd., Sakumacyou, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan, 2 , GGK Co.,Ltd., Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan, 3 , Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co, Ltd., Asan Korea (the Republic of), 4 Optical and ImagingScience & Technology, TOKAI University, Kitakaname, Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa Japan
We have developed Ag nanoparticle films which have high durability and are free from polymer coating. In this paper, we describe the preparation and characterization of the Ag nanoparticle films.It is well known that Ag nanoparticle films exhibit glossy colors because they absorb visible light of various wavelengths due to surface plasmon resonance. It is also known that Ag nanoparticle films are oxidized in the atmosphere, especially in the presence of sulfur and easily lose their luster. Therefore, the surface of the Ag nanoparticle film is generally covered with plastic resins in order to protect the oxidation.Recently, we have discovered a novel and facile method for preparing Ag nanoparticle films free from polymer coating. In our method, two kinds of chemical treatments are carried out before and after the process of sliver mirror reaction, respectively. The advantage of our Ag nanoparticle films with respect to the films made by conventional sliver mirror reactions is the high durability against continuous degradation due to oxidation. In other words, it minimizes the expansion of scratch due to the surface degradation of Ag nanoparticle films. Actually, we did not find any difference of a scratch condition between before and after our salt spray test of 240 hours. From an industrial point of view, this permanent durability is quite important.Our high durable Ag nanoparticle films have a number of potential applications including coating materials, imaging materials and optical memories, since the film is easy to prepare, low cost, and applicable to a large area. One of most promising application is metallic coating for automobiles. The high durable Ag nanoparticle films free from polymer coating not only improve the quality of the metallic coating but also enable to decline in cost. On the other hand, it is of great scientific interest to elucidate the mechanism of the high durability of our Ag nanoparticle films. Therefore, these Ag nanoparticles have been characterized in terms of their particle size, chemical compositions and optical properties by a wide range of experimental techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and visible absorption spectra. For example, our X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies indicate the possibility that iodine affects the durability of the Ag nanoparticle films.
12:15 PM - HH1.6
Solution Blowing: Monolithic, Blended and Core-shell Nanofibers Incorporating Proteins and Resins, and Production of Turbostratic Carbon Nanotubes.
Suman Sinha Ray 1 , A. Kolbasov 1 , A. Yarin 1 3 , B. Pourdeyhimi 2 Show Abstract
1 Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 3 Center for Smart Interfaces, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt Germany, 2 The Nonwovens Institute, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
A novel method of formation of monolithic, blended and core-shell polymer nanofibers via a modification of meltblowing is proposed. The new method is called solution blowing. Single polymer solution droplets, droplets of polymer/protein and polymer/resin blends are subjected to a high speed gas jet, which pulls, stretches and bends jets. Also, two-polymer core-shell solution, or polymer-protein and polymer-resin drops were solution blown. As a result of blowing, an enormous elongation of droplet material is achieved and nanofibers are formed. After solvent evaporates, polymer nanofibers solidify, and thus, polymer nanofiber mats deposited on a screen. They consist of rather uniform monolithic polymer nanofibers of about 150-250 nm in diameter. In the case of solution co-blowing of core-shell fibers, the deposited polymer fibers had either polymer or protein and resin cores surrounded by a polymer shell. In some core-shell polymer-polymer nanofibers, a further heat treatment allowed us to eliminate the core completely and simultaneously carbonize the shell. As a result, hollow turbostratic carbon nanotubes with 50-150 nm inner diameter and 400-600 nm outer diameter were obtained.
HH2: Challenges in Nanomaterial Production Scale-up, NanoManufacturing and NanoFabrication II
Tuesday PM, April 26, 2011
Room 3018 (Moscone West)
2:30 PM - **HH2.1
Highly Specific Nanoparticles - A Chance for Future Energy Applications.
Tim Huelser 1 , Hartmut Wiggers 1 2 3 , Christof Schulz 1 2 3 Show Abstract
1 Nano-Energy & Nano-Particle Synthesis, Institute for Energy and Environmental Technologies (IUTA e.V.), Duisburg Germany, 2 Institute for Combustion and Gasdynamics, University Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg Germany, 3 CeNIDE, Center for NanoIntegration Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg Germany
The growing demand for energy in the future and the limited fossil resources, require new and green technologies for energy generation and energy saving. Nanotechnology-based materials are promising candidates to cover a broad spectrum of energy-related applications.The synthesis of nanoparticles is typically performed using wet-chemical synthesis routes or gas-phase processes. Industrial cost-effective nanoparticle production is covered by gas-phase based and pyrolysis flame processes with high throughput. The quality of the resulting materials is limited and often agglomerates with a broad size distribution are formed and sophisticated energy applications can not be performed. In contrast, highly-specific nanoparticles provide promising properties for a large variety of energy applications as the size dependence of their properties allows to tailor materials for specific applications. Nano-energy related applications like fuel cells, photovoltaics, catalysis, thermoelectrics and battery technology are mainly found in the literature.Highly specific nanomaterials, however, are synthesized in specific lab-scale reactors – often available in minute quantities only. Therefore, subsequent processing steps cannot be studied and many nanomaterials that require sophisticated synthesis technologies have not yet found their way into practical applications.To fill this gap, we designed a unique pilot-plant-scale particle synthesis plant enabling for three different synthesis routes using either a hot-wall reactor, a flame reactor or a plasma reactor. In these reactors the energy required for decomposition of the gas-phase metal-organic precursor is provided by either an electrical heat source, a flame, or a microwave-supported plasma. Depending on precursor and gas-phase composition, metal, metal oxide or semiconductor nanoparticles are generated. The chemical composition of the nanoparticles can be adjusted to pure, doped, mixed and composite materials. Pressure, precursor concentration, and residence time can be varied over a wide range to fine-tune particle size and morphology. The facility generates passivated pure and doped silicon nanoparticles, passivated iron particles, iron-oxide and different metal oxides like titanium dioxide with structures sizing between a few nm and a few µm. The reactors enable for the synthesis of significant amounts (up to kg/h) of nanoparticles without losing their specification. Therefore, we are able to produce sufficient amounts of nanoparticulate material enable future energy applications.
3:00 PM - **HH2.2
Challenges in Commercialization of Nanoparticle Enabled Technology Products in Semiconductor Manufacturing.
Rajiv Singh 1 2 Show Abstract
1 Materials Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States, 2 , Sinmat Inc, Gainesville, Florida, United States
Nanoparticle enabled chemical-mechacnical planarization (CMP) technologies play a critical role is scalable manaufacturing of current and future generation of electronic and photonic semiconductor devices. Such planarization technologies can be applied in several conventional semiconductor manufacturing operations such as dielectric planarization and formation of copper interconnects, and in emerging applications involving photonic and electronic devcies of wide band gap semiconductor materials such as silicon carbide, gallium nitride and diamond. Nanoparticles with specific surface fucntionalities in tailored chemical environments can effectively control the tribo-chemical behavior resulting in desirable functionlity ( removal rate modulation, lower defectivity). Sinmat has developed and commercialized the applications of such CMP technologies for both silicon and wide-bandgap semiconductors. In the last 3 years it has been able to transform it R&D innovation into sustainable commercial prodcutts which has been widely adopted by the industry. As a small company supplying critical products to larger companies. Sinmat had to address unique technical and non-techncial challenges. This talk will describe the nanoparticle enable products of the company in the emerging semiconductor manufacturing markets and the unique technical and non-technical challenges that were overcome to commercialize these products.
3:30 PM - **HH2.3
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION:``Catalytic Materials for Automotive Applications". Moderators: Mirjam Theelen and Lhadi Merhari The Use of Plasma Based Catalysts in the Automotive Industry.
Maximillian Biberger 1 Show Abstract
1 , SDCmaterials, Inc., Tempe, Arizona, United States
Traditionally catalysts for the automotive industry are being made by using wet chemistry, i.e. PGM’s (Platinum Group Metals) are being dissolved in acids and then impregnated onto porous, micron sized substrates. This technology is serving the industry well, however as demand for more fuel efficient cars as well as Hybrid cars increases, this technology begins to start showing limitations. The limitations are: a) Large amounts of precious metals being consumed, resulting in more than USD 10B/yr, which increases the cost of the vehicle and b) wet chemistry based catalysts have the tendency to age, i.e. the precious metal nano particles agglomerate during operation and the catalytic properties of the catalyst diminishes. In the present paper a novel method of manufacturing catalysts is presented. This technology is based on plasma synthesis instead of wet chemistry, resulting in thermally much more stable catalysts that have the potential to overcome above mentioned shortcomings and allow car manufacturers to introduce more fuel efficient cars as well as reducing the amount of precious metals needed. The latter is of particular interest in Hybrid cars: Due to the combination of a combustion engine and electric engine, the exhaust is much colder than in traditional cars, hence much more precious metal per catalytic converter is required.Another aspect discussed in this paper are the challenges related to the introduction of a new and novel technology into the automotive industry.
4:30 PM - **HH2.4
High Performance Nanostructured Coatings and Nanopowders by NanoSpraySM Combustion Processing.
Yongdong Jiang 1 , Ganesh Venugopal 1 , Marvis White 1 , Kwang Choi 1 , Andrew Hunt 1 Show Abstract
1 , nGimat Co., Atlanta, Georgia, United States
nGimat has commercialized a number of nanotech applications with all being based on its core competence of creating low cost high quality nanomaterials. It offers a wide range of compositions as thin films by combustion chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) mode and also in both nanopowder and dispersion forms by combustion chemical vapor condensation (CCVC) mode. While being very successful in obtaining government funding, nGimat has more than ½ of revenues from its private industry customers and is profitable. A few of these will be covered as examples including superhydrophobic coatings, various nanopowders (including Li-battery based), high temperature thin wire coatings, and tunable RF components. The CCVD process can be easily scaled up to large substrates and integrated into an existing production line, thus enabling a license business model. The CCVC process is also readily scalable but a manufacturing business model is being used for these nanopowder based products, and should be internationally completive even when made in the USA as the market matures. An overview of the company business model, intellectual property, and a look at its future will be presented.
5:00 PM - **HH2.5
Innovation at DSM: Nanostructured Functional Coatings.
Kornelia Matloka 1 , Pascal Buskens 1 Show Abstract
1 Functional Coatings, DSM, Geleen Netherlands
The possibility of combining properties of organic and inorganic components for materials design is an interesting area of research which found its origin in the second half of the twentieth century. Traditionally, such hybrid materials are prepared through hydrolysis and condensation of metal oxide precursors in the presence of organic molecules, polymers or biocomponents. The resulting hybrid materials are then processed into micro-structured coatings. The micro-domains which are present in such coatings are generally polydisperse in size and locally heterogeneous in composition. To achieve a higher level of control, a switch to nanostructured hybrids is essential. Furthermore, specific magnetic, electronic, thermal and optical effects are exclusive to the nano size regime. DSM exploits the principle of applying nanostructured hybrid materials in a variety of functional coatings.The area of “Functional Coatings” is one of the key innovation areas within DSM. Recognizing the importance of this research area, DSM recently announced the new Emerging Business Area “Advanced Surfaces”. Within this business area, we focus on a variety of functional coating solutions for the electronics and solar market and aim at offering full solution packages to customers in these fields. For the solar market, we offer an anti-reflective coating solution – KhepriCoatTM - to increase the transmission of solar cover glass. We provide the chemical formulation in combination with highly energy and cost efficient deposition processes like dip, spray, roll and slot-die coating. After application of DSM’s coating and thermal strengthening of the coated solar glass, the transmission of the glass increases by about 2.5% per side. This leads to an increase in efficiency by up to 5% on photovoltaic modules. The technology is certified by TUV Germany according to IEC 61215 and available for licensing.
Lhadi Merhari CERAMEC
Maximilian Biberger SDCmaterials, Inc.
David Cruikshank ARCH Venture Partners
Mirjam Theelen TNO Science and Industry-Materials Technology
Dow Chemical Company
HH5: Nanotech Transition from Lab to Market
Thursday AM, April 28, 2011
Room 3018 (Moscone West)
1:00 AM -
Special Forum Discussion: How to Start and Grow a Successful Start-up Company: A Survival Kit for Entrepreneurs -- 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM -- Informational Text to be Added Manually to the Program
9:30 AM - **HH5.1
Emerging Potential and Challenges of Convergence, Heterogeneity, and Hierarchical Integration of Nanotechnologies in Commercial Applications.
Ashok Vaseashta 1 2 3 , James Giordano 3 , Eric Braman 2 , Philip Susmann 2 Show Abstract
1 Institute for Advanced Sciences Convergence , NUARI, Herndon, Virginia, United States, 2 , NUARI, Northfield, Vermont, United States, 3 Center for Neurotechnology Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Arlington, Virginia, United States
It is well known that materials approaching nanoscale dimensions exhibit characteristics with numerous unique and hitherto unexploited applications. Advances in synthesis and characterization methods have provided the means to study, understand, control, and/or manipulate the transitional characteristics between isolated atoms and molecules and bulk materials. Fundamental understanding and technological advances arise from the potential of nanoscale materials to exhibit properties that are attributable to their small size, physical characteristics, and chemical composition. Paradigmatically, the convergence of technologies has exceptionally high potential for transforming the manner in which state-of-the-art information is gathered, analyzed, and leveraged to enable future advances and uses. Novel convergence methodologies will enable next generation solutions to both current and future technical problems. This presentation will highlight the potential and challenges of hierarchically integrating nanotechnologies for commercial applications. The heterogeneity of structures and compositions of nanomaterials presents limitless possibilities, yet, these envisioned benefits may be accompanied – if not evoke – certain burdens, risks, and associated ethical, social environmental, health, and legal concerns. The lecture provides a balanced overview of the realistic capabilities and potential, as well as the limitations, challenges, risks inherent to manufacturing, and employing nano-structured materials for biomedical, photonics, composites, and energy generation and harvesting applications. In this way, we seek to provide an accurate assessment of the benefits, burdens, and risks that such technology could incur, and pose strategies and methods to prepare for the groundswell of nanotechnological progress, prudently assess the validity and value(s) of using such technology in a variety of applications, and develop a paradigm of technical and ethical responsibility to guide such utility.
10:00 AM - **HH5.2
Innovation Ecosystems for the Commercialization of University Research in Pennsylvania: The Nanotechnology Institute and the Energy Commercialization Institute.
Robert Carpick 1 5 , E. Chen 2 5 , A. Green 3 5 , C. Kagan 6 8 , K. Pourrezaei 4 5 , J. Spanier 7 8 , W. Valentine 8 9 Show Abstract
1 Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics Department, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 5 , The Nanotechnology Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 2 Center for Technology Transfer, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 3 , Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 6 Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 8 , The Energy Commercialization Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 4 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 7 Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 9 , The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
The Nanotechnology Institute (NTI) and the Energy Commercialization Institute (ECI) are unique innovation ecosystems focused on accelerating the commercialization of university research. With core funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Commerce and Economic Development, these institutes aim to accelerate innovation, technology transfer, and economic development in the greater Philadelphia region. These institutes stand out due to their unprecedented level of collaboration and intellectual property pooling between multiple universities, and the involvement of an independent economic development organization. The NTI was founded in 2000 by the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and the Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP), and involves a collaboration with 12 other research institutes. The NTI focuses on accelerating commercialization of nanoscale technologies, with particular impact in sensors, biomedical applications, and nanomaterials. Being the first organization in the U.S. to establish a multi-university commercialization collective, the NTI serves as a model that has been recognized and emulated elsewhere. Based on the NTI’s organizational and administrative template, the ECI was established in 2009 to help focus and accelerate commercially viable research activities in the energy sector. By eliminating barriers between institutions, disciplines, investors, and industry, and by focusing on technology transfer, commercial outcomes, outreach, and networking, the NTI and ECI bring complementary talents to bear on specific, highly active technology areas. This has yielded a demonstrable increase in intellectual property development and commercialization. A critical aspect behind these successes has been the development of a universal IP policy and collaboration agreement for all the partner universities. This talk will describe the inspiration behind these two related institutes, as well as their unique structure and operating principles. Examples of success stories and other projects in progress will be highlighted. The talk will conclude by discussing challenges and future opportunities.
10:30 AM - **HH5.3
Commercializing Inventions in the Field of Nanotechnology – A Case Study.
Jason Hartlove 1 Show Abstract
1 , Nanosys Inc., Palo Alto, California, United States
The field of nanoscale research is now more than two decades old. Expectations have run high early on for commercializing its numerous discoveries. Nevertheless, nanotechnology is following the development path typical for any new research field: after the exciting first discoveries, it usually takes 2 decades of hard work to arrive at real-world products beyond a few pioneering niche applications. Nanosys has been an active center of innovation in the nanotech space for 10 years. The first seven years were spent on fundamental research and development resulting in roughly a dozen product concepts or prototypes. For the past two and a half years we took two of the products and ramped them to pilot line and manufacturing stages. Both products are playing in markets in excess of $40B per year. The first one, Quantum Dot Lighting, expands the color gamut of LCD displays by up to 40% while reducing energy consumption and cost. The second, high performance lithium ion battery materials, yield batteries with 40% increased capacity or the equivalent reduction in weight. The initial applications are in the mobile electronics market, with automotive applications following shortly after. This talk will describe the challenges we encountered and lessons learned while commercializing these products.
11:30 AM - HH5.4
How to Grow a Startup Company – Nano or Otherwise.
Frank Cesario 1 Show Abstract
1 , Nanophase Technologies Corporation, Romeoville, Illinois, United States
New ventures in the nanomaterials industry are subject to the same laws of physics as all other entities – they compete for capital, customers, and work through similar variables. Ultimately, success is determined by the degree to which customers prefer the new venture product(s) to alternatives, thus, thinking from the perspective of the customer is critical to success. Often we focus on what the idea is, how it improves on alternatives in the marketplace, and don’t spend adequate time considering the world from the customer’s view. In reviewing choices that must be made and examples of successes and failures, the case for a thorough business plan is presented.