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Posted: January 14, 2010
Russian investment will expand production of application units for nanocoatings
(Nanowerk News) A project to expand production of units for applying modified coatings of a single nanometer thickness on materials and goods with the help of a plasma magnetron discharge has won approval from the Supervisory Council of RUSNANO. Realization of the project will bring existing small-batch domestic hi-tech production created by Tomsk scientists to a new level and broaden its presence in Russian and foreign markets.
Units produced by the project initiator—Laboratory 23—are part of technology founded on the physics of deposition of nanometer coatings (PVD technology). According to forecasts by MarketResearch.com, in 2015 the global market for units using PVD technology will be $12.8 billion. Such units have wide application for developing light-reflective surfaces for satellites, radio-reflective surfaces for satellite antennas, and anti-reflective compositions for solar batteries. All are appropriate to conductive coatings on the surface of dielectric materials. The use of nanosized coatings may have considerable socio-economic impact as well. Take, for example, the benefit to homes and businesses from reduction in heat loss when coatings are deposited on glass.
Production of standard units will be expanded as part of the project. There are also plans to adapt the units to each particular client. Units Yashma, Opal, and Ruti, which are already in operation, facilitate deposition of one and many layers of coatings of nanometer thickness of a variety of materials (conducting, semiconducting, and dielectric). They are used to deposit heat-reflective coatings on the surface of space flight hardware and for medical coatings, to deposit low-discharge (heat-saving) coatings on sheets of glass, to deposit modified coatings on material and elements for space equipment to be used inside cabins or capsules.
After expanding production, the project company will be able to compete in the space industry and in the optics and medical industries and to sell units for research purposes. Alternative energy is another promising sector for development, particularly solar energy, thanks to the laboratory’s extensive work in production of anti-reflective coatings for use in the space industry.
According to a prognosis by project experts, the establishment of a new production complex will increase sales to 450 million rubles. The total budget for the project is put at 320 million rubles. Tomsk Polytechnic University will contribute patents and know-how to the project company. Laboratory 23 and RUSNANO will put up the necessary monetary resources.
Laboratory 23 was established in 1994 from the then existing laboratory 23 of the Scientific-Research Institute of Nuclear Physics at Tomsk Polytechnic University, which had been formed in 1986. The company develops and produces units for application of modified coatings with nanometer thickness on materials and goods. The units employ a magnetron discharge to make the application. Since 1991 Laboratory 23 has developed, produced, and sold more than 30 units; nine of these were exported to Japan, South Korea, the Czech Republic and the CIS.
Tomsk Polytechnic University, the first Russian engineering higher educational institute founded beyond the Urals, was established in 1896 to further industry in Siberia. The university is one of the largest technical educational facilities in Russia. Its scientific-educational complex has excellent infrastructure for scientific research and is composed of three scientific-research institutes (nuclear physics, high voltage, and introscopy), the Cybernetic Center, nine scientific-research centers, and 68 scientific-research laboratories, including 13 international laboratories. The university possesses tremendous professional potential. It has won worldwide recognition as an scientific center and had considerable influence on the development of Russian science.