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Posted: December 7, 2007
MSU nanotechnology research nets Nano 50 Award
(Nanowerk News) A new nanotechnology material developed at Michigan State University (MSU) has enabled XG Sciences Inc., a startup company headquartered in East Lansing, to be named a winner in the third annual Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Awards program.
Nanotech Briefs is a national digital magazine that presents the best of government, industry and university nanotech innovations that have real-world applications in the areas of electronics, materials, sensors, manufacturing, biomedical, optics/photonics and aerospace/defense. Nano 50 Awards recognize the top 50 technologies, products and innovators that have significantly impacted or are expected to impact the state of the art in nanotechnology.
XG Sciences Inc. was recognized for its new nanomaterial – xGnP™ Exfoliated Graphite NanoPlatelets – a practical, inexpensive nanoscale material that has a unique set of physical, chemical and morphological attributes. This new material is the result of several years of research led by Lawrence T. Drzal, University Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering and materials science, director of MSU’s Composite Materials and Structures Center and chief scientist at XG Sciences.
“This research has achieved recognition as a major new advance in the field of nanotechnology,” Drzal said, “and it is an example of how student and faculty research conducted in the MSU College of Engineering has the potential to transition to the commercial sector, make a positive economic impact and be a technological benefit to Michigan and the nation.”
The key to the new material’s capabilities is a fast and inexpensive process for separating layers of graphite (graphene) into stacks less than 10 nanometers in thickness but with lateral dimensions anywhere from 100 nm to several microns, coupled with the ability to tailor the particle surface chemistry to make it compatible with water, resin or plastic systems. It is expected to lead to new and expanded applications in the aerospace, automotive and packaging industries.
“We are extremely pleased to get the Nano 50 Award,” said Michael R. Knox, president and CEO of XG Sciences. “We have seen great interest so far from companies around the world and, as we scale up our production capabilities, we expect to have our first applications in real products soon.”
The winners of the Nano 50 Awards are the “best of the best” – the innovative people and designs that will move nanotechnology to key mainstream markets, according to the Nanotech Briefs Web site.
Funding and support for xGnP research was provided by MSU and a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s 21st Century Jobs Fund.
Nano 50 Award winners were recognized at a Nov. 14 dinner at the NASA Tech Briefs National Nano Engineering Conference in Boston.