Quantum Dots Join Carbon Nanotubes, Sol-Gel Coatings, Nanoinks and More in being Featured by Bayer at Nanotech Exhibition

Published on February 13, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Bayer MaterialScience AG and Bayer Technology Services GmbH will be making their third joint appearance at "nanotech" between February 13 and 15 this year in Tokyo. The world’s largest and most high-profile exhibition for nanotechnology is a key gateway for both Bayer companies to the Japanese market and also the Asia-Pacific market as a whole. "Nanotechnology is developing at a breathtaking pace in this region because it is already being used in a large number of sectors.

That is why we are presenting ourselves at this fair as a skilled industrial partner for the nanotechnology sector. Our activities at nanotech will focus on commercially viable, cutting-edge Bayer materials and processes such as Baytubes® carbon nanotubes," explains Dr. Péter Krüger, head of the Nanotechnology Working Group at Bayer. The key topics at the Bayer stand are "mobility", "organic electronics", "packaging" and "responsible care".

Collaboration with Toyota Tsusho on Baytubes® The strategic collaboration on Baytubes® that Bayer MaterialScience has established with Toyota Tsusho in the run-up to "nanotech" underlines the importance of the Asian market for the Bayer subgroup. Toyota Tsusho will market and distribute Baytubes® in countries such as Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and India, and will also provide technical support for carbon nanotubes operations in the region. "Besides our partner’s exceptional technical skills and market know-how, its outstanding business relationships with potential buyers in Japan, for example, will help us to strengthen our position as one of the world’s three largest suppliers of carbon nanotubes," says Martin Schmid, head of global Baytubes® operations.

New product line: Baydot® (quantum dots) Bayer Technology Services is presenting a new product line under the name Baydot® at "nanotech". These nanoparticles - also known as quantum dots - exhibit different physical properties depending on their size. They have great potential for use in areas such as opto-electronics, photovoltaics, security labeling and functional polymer composites. Entry into these markets has until now been hampered by the complex and expensive production process. "Our new process enables us to produce quantum dots cost-effectively and with a high degree of purity on an industrial scale.

This provides us with an excellent basis from which to exploit the broad spectrum of potential applications," explained Dr. Frank Rauscher, Project Manager for Baydot® at Bayer Technology Services.

Baytubes® - focusing on new applications Visitors to "nanotech" can also expect to encounter the "F1-EX-Nano". This plastic transport drum, which derives the electrical conductivity it needs from carbon nanotubes, is the first to be designed for use in explosion-protected zones. The drum was developed by Schütz GmbH & Co. KGaA and Bayer MaterialScience as part of a joint project study. Used instead of carbon black, Baytubes® are applied at a low concentration in the polyethylene outer layer and are responsible for the drum’s antistatic properties. Furthermore, they improve the drum’s low-temperature impact strength and resistance to chemicals.

Carbon nanotubes also have major potential for use in lithium-ion batteries, where lifespan and performance are dependent on a consistent unimpeded charge flux. Baytubes® C150 HP from Bayer MaterialScience ensure a reliable charge flux over a long period of time. The strength of this product is its exceptional purity, which is essential for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.

A forthcoming application of Baytubes® is the "md4-1000" remote-controlled flying camera from the microdrones company. This product can be used, for example, during sporting events such as skiing, when it can transmit pictures live from the air. The use of carbon nanotubes means that the frame of the drone can be made even lighter than that of the previous model, without affecting stability. This greatly increases the maximum flight time of the camera.

Sol-gel coatings - hard, scratch-resistant and elastic An innovative highlight in sol-gel coatings is Bayresit® VPLS 2331. Key features of this ethoxycarbosiloxane crosslinker include its flexible ring structure and outstanding functionality. These ensure that coatings exhibit two seemingly conflicting properties - a high level of elasticity on the one hand and hardness and scratch resistance on the other. Sol-gel systems formulated with the crosslinker only shrink very slightly during thermal curing, making thicker coatings possible and improving processability.

What’s more, compared to other sol-gel systems, curing can be performed at moderate temperatures and within a short, cost-effective timeframe. The crosslinker is also ideal for coatings that contain nanoparticles. It is particularly suitable for use in easy-to-clean and anti-graffiti paints, corrosion protection and ceramic materials.

Nano inks - printing flexible wiring diagrams cost-effectively A further innovation is the customized range of BayInk nano-particle silver inks designed for the new generation of ink-jet printers. These inks make it possible to cost-effectively produce wiring diagrams - whose conductive tracks are thinner than 20 micrometers - on an industrial scale. BayInk achieves ten percent of the specific conductivity of elemental silver with a relatively low percentage proportion of the precious metal and adheres well to various substrates. In addition, the printed conductive tracks are very flexible and ductile. BayInk is particularly useful for "printed electronics" applications such as sensors, actuators and RFID systems.

Product stewardship program for the safety of nanomaterials A key topic at the Bayer stand will also be the comprehensive stewardship program that Bayer MaterialScience has put in place to ensure the safety and environmental friendliness of nanomaterials. "We have acquired a good deal of knowledge and experience in the safe handling of nanomaterials such as Baytubes®. This applies both to the physical-chemical parameters of these materials and the analysis of their toxicological and ecotoxicological properties," observes Dr. Jacques Ragot, Product Stewardship Manager of Nanomaterials. Bayer is also involved in numerous national projects and working groups to examine the safety of nanomaterials. These include "NanoCare" and "TRACER", both of which are financially supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF - German Federal Ministry for Education and Research).

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