Nanotechnology in Delaware, USA: Market Report

Delaware, located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Unites States, covers a total area of 6,452 km2 and has a population of 907,135 as of 2011.

The state’s agricultural outputs, from dairy products to soybeans remain an important part of its economy. However, since the passing of its General Corporation Act in 1899, it has steadily grown as a key industrial state.

As of 2012, well over half of all Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware. The incorporation industry brings in around 20% of the state income through franchise taxes.

Delaware is known for being the birthplace of industrial giants like Chrysler Corp. and chemical company DuPont.

Nanotechnology Organizations

A brief introduction to the key nanotechnology-related organization in Delaware is given below:

Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology Alliance (MANA) -  MANA focuses on the expansion of nanotechnology research and also on the development, application and commercialization of nanotechnology in the Mid-Atlantic region that comprises Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. MANA secures funding for the research activities and develops policies and plans that will help in the commercialization of nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology Companies

The major nanotechnology-related companies in Delaware are listed below along with a brief introduction to each of them:

B&W Tek - B&W Tek, Inc. is a total solution provider for all their OEM customers. They not only work with their customers to understand their product needs, but also to provide solutions that help them better achieve their business goals.

B&W Tek use a five step OEM Product Development Cycle to ensure they meet overall goals of their customer at each milestone. Their project management team and engineering team work closely with our customers to understand the product requirements and business objectives in order to provide high quality and low cost solutions.

TA Instruments - TA Instruments is a profitable, fast growing player in the analytical instrument industry. Headquartered in Delaware, with manufacturing sites in the US and Europe, we are represented in all of the major markets around the world with sales offices in the USA, Japan, China, India, Australia and across Europe.

TA Instruments have a market leading position in thermal analysis, rheology and microcalorimetry is due to their steady stream of innovative new products, and an uncompromising commitment to customer support.

Nanoshel - Nanoshel Specializes in Research and Development (R&D), Production and Distribution of high-grade industrial carbon nanotubes. They supply carbon nanotubes. They are also dealing in Metal Nano particles like Silver Nano particles, Aluminum Nano Particles, Gold, Diamond, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Nickel Silicon and Tantalum are few of these.

They have different categories of Nano Materials like Metal Nano Particles, Nanopowder Compounds, Oxide Nano particles, Nanopowder dispersions, Oxide Micro powders, Carbon Nano Tubes, Alloy Nano Powders and Clay Nano Powders.

Thermo Scientific Nanodrop Products - As part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, NanoDrop Products has played a pioneering role in microvolume instrumentation by developing unique UV-Vis spectrophotometers and fluorospectrometers for the life sciences market.

Since 2001, more than 35,000 NanoDrop instruments have been utilized in academic, research, commercial, and QC labs focused on such diverse fields such as genomics, proteomics, drug discovery, molecular diagnostics and bio-manufacturing. The technology foundation of every NanoDrop product is based upon the patented sample-retention system. This system allows scientists to quickly and easily quantify and assess purity of samples such as proteins and nucleic acids.

Dynamic Devices - Founded in the fall of 1999 as a result of the aggregation of engineers formerly from other integration & laboratory automation companies, Dynamic Devices combines diverse expertise with a long synergetic history, resulting in one of the most efficient and effective groups within the laboratory robotics field.  Their focus is to work directly with industry scientists to customize automation equipment to their unique and precise research needs.

With expertise in liquid handling robotic platforms combining electronics, software, and mechanical design, Dynamic Devices focuses on pioneering innovative solutions and personal services to the life science industry.  The company’s long history and combined experience in integration and integration services grants Dynamic Devices a unique insight into all aspects of the evolution of lab automation—from introducing the first commercial fully automated micro plate based screening system to the company’s non-gripper µHTS conveyor-based platform.

ANP Technologies - ANP has one of the most experienced scientific staffs in the industry, when it comes to working with protein-related compounds. ANP promotes nanotechnology in biotech and medicine through their nanomanipulation and nanoencapsulation technologies.

Ultrafine Technologies - Dr. Berhan Tecle founded Ultrafine Technologies, Inc. (“Ultrafine”) in 1995 to commercialize a novel method of producing commercial quantities of proprietary nanomaterials.

Ultrafine’s patented process allows the preparation and handling of nanoparticles while maintaining discrete nanoparticles in a highly concentrated state. Ultrafine’s unique reversible encapsulation process facilitates handling, storing, and ease of use of such materials in a wide range of applications. This novel method is the only known process to produce highly dispersed, concentrated, commercial quantities of nanoparticles of virtually any solid material.

Ultrafine develops, produces and/or licenses its technology for the production of oxide-free nanomaterials for thin-film solar cells, energetic materials, lead-free solder paste, conductive metal inks and other novel, leading edge applications.

Nanotechnology Education

Some of the leading academic institutes in Delaware offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:

University of Delaware - Promotes the significance of nanotechnology through the following nanotechnology-based research groups and projects:

  • The Nanofabrication Facility - Focuses on the development of new discoveries in nanophotonics, nanobiotechnology, microsystems, circuit fabrication, semiconductor devices and MEMs technology.
  • Nano-Bio Interface - The Department of Physics and Astronomy conducts nanotechnology research as part of its nanoscale physics discipline. The research areas include:
    • Nanoscale thermoelectrics
    • Magnetic nanoparticles
    • Graphene nanoelectronics
    • Spintronics
    • Photovoltaics
  • Mechanical Engineering Department - Conducts nanotechnology research on the following topics:
    • Nanoporous and nanocomposite Sputtered films
    • Deformable supercapacitors from carbon nanotube macrofilms
    • Nanoparticle transport in porous media
    • Carbon nanotube‐based mechanical reinforcement structures
    • Red‐light emission from doped In2O3 nanostructures

Recent Developments

A team of researchers from the University of Delaware plan to develop materials from complex nano-building blocks. A researcher from the same university aims at analyzing the possibility of how nano-building blocks of different chemistries and shapes can be assembled into particular structures with specific functions. These ‘smart materials’ can be used in robots directing them to pick up very delicate components like an egg, for instance.

These researchers hope to implement this self-building concept in computer chips as a result of which the future will have computer chips building themselves. This experiment was tested even with NASA’s help in order to analyze the entire process aboard the International Space Station and study how the self-assembly of cutting-edge materials is affected by gravity.

Another team of researchers from the University of Delaware ventured into an experiment where they used carbon nanotube hybrid glass-fiber composite to develop a structural health monitoring system that can prevent buildings from collapsing. This composite formed a conductive skin when attached to small-scale concrete beams. This conductive skin contains the property of being sensitive to changes in strain and can thus prevent damage to building structures.

These unique discoveries in the field of nanotechnology highlight the fact that Delaware is likely to become an important state in the nanotechnology arena in the coming years, with a variety of nanotechnology-based products that can be used in educational, medical and engineering fields and also possess the quality of being environment friendly. Delaware's business-friendly environment also makes it a key target for investment and burgeoning nanotech start-ups.

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