Nanotechnology in Oregon, USA: Market Report

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Nanotechnology Organizations
Nanotechnology Companies
Nanotechnology Research and Education
Recent Developments


Oregon, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, covers a total area of 255,026 km2 and has a population of 3,899,353 as of 2012.

According to Bureau of Economic Analysis, Oregon had a GDP of $194.7 billion in 2011. The largest single contributor was the manufacturing industry.

They also claim to have global competitive advantages in 5 industry sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Clean Technology
  • Forestry and wood products
  • High Technology
  • Outdoor gear and activewear

The advanced manufacturing industry is the heart of Oregon's economy and caters for 10% of private sector jobs. The highly competitive industry continues to innovate and prosper producing everything from precision instruments and medical products to steel fabrication and trucking.

Oregon's high concentration of high-tech companies have made a name for the state across the globe and has in turn lead to the expansion of sectors such as bioscience, digital displays and software development.

Oregon, through the Oregon Innovation Council (InC) and the High Tech Extension Service is helping local companies compete in the global marketplace by allowing them to access cutting edge research and development facilities and 450 scientists who can help turn ideas into opportunities. These facilities include the ONAMI Signature Research Center that caters to nanotechnology. The program is funded from federal, state and private grants and has helped create 18 companies thus far.

Nanotechnology Organizations

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

Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative (SNNI) - Aims at developing a variety of nanomanufacturing approaches and nanomaterials that are eco-friendly and cause minimal harm to human health. SNNI conducts research into nanoparticle chemistry and uses the principles of green chemistry in nanoscience in order to develop high-performance nanomaterials and cost-effective and efficient manufacturing techniques for these nanomaterials.

Nanotechnology Companies

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

FEI - FEI  is the world leader in the production and distribution of electron microscopes, including scanning electron microscopes (SEM), transmission electron microscopes (TEM), DualBeam™­ instruments, and focused ion beam tools (FIB), for nanoscale research, serving a broad range of customers worldwide. FEI's global customer base includes researchers, scientists, engineers, lab managers, and other skilled professionals.

CSD Nano - CSD Nano sells high performance, patent pending Anti-Reflective Coating (ARC) technology to solar-cell companies to increase their product performance.

Anti-reflective (AR) coatings for photovoltaic (PV) cover glass are of great interest to the solar industry since they are a straightforward way to increase module efficiency, thereby lowering $/watt. Vacuum deposited multi-layer AR coatings have long been used in other applications. However, for solar PV modules, these coatings suffer from two major drawbacks: they reduce reflection in a relatively narrow wavelength range and they are only effective in a limited range of incident angles. In addition, the cost of vacuum-deposited multi-layer coatings is too high for PV cover glass use, especially in light of the recent price pressures experienced by solar module makers.

CSD Nano’s bio-inspired silica anti-reflective films work on the principle of the light gradient index of refraction. Gradient surfaces can be thought of having a low net reflectance based on destructive interference of an infinite series of reflections; each with an incremental change in refractive index.

AcryMed - AcryMed is a pioneer in the development of advanced wound care and infection control technologies. In response rising antibiotic resistant pathogens and the heightened concern for medical device-related infections, AcryMed scientists have focused their efforts on identifying solutions to enhance the efficacy of medical products and improve patient care.

The company was the first to successfully incorporate the infection-fighting properties of ionic silver with its proprietary moisture-control wound dressings and wound care gel under the brand name SilvaSorb®. SilvaSorb products are widely recognized by medical professionals as the standard-of-care for burns and chronic wounds and are currently distributed by Medline Industries.

Leveraging its expertise in silver antimicrobial technology, AcryMed has been able to harness the advantages of nanotechnology with the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of ionic silver in the development of SilvaGard®, an engineered surface treatment for medical devices.

Rogue Valley Microdevices - Founded in 2003, Rogue Valley Microdevices is the first company to establish a microelectronics manufacturing facility in beautiful Southern Oregon. Their MEMS foundry & manufacturing facility contains processing equipment capable of volume manufacturing yet flexible enough to accommodate wafer sizes from 50mm to 300mm. Rogue Valley Microdevices offer full Device Fabrication and Design services along with a variety of individual processes to support our growing network of satisfied customers.

Rogue Valley's MEMS Foundry Capabilities include Metal Lift off, Front to Back Alignment, Wet and Dry Etch, Low Stress LPCVD Nitride, PECVD Oxide, PECVD Nitride, PECVD Silicon Carbide, PolySilicon, Amorphous silicon, Thermal Oxidation, N2/H2 Annealing, and a variety of PVD films.

Applied Physics Technology - APTech is involved both in the production and development of electron emitting materials and electron sources. Custom design and fabrication capabilities augment our standard catalog items to meet our customers' needs. Partnering is available for your more challenging product requirements, particularly for key component realization. Applied Physics Technologies maintains an active role in fundamental electron emission research and publication, striving to bring the newest ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Norsam Technologies - Norsam Technologies, Inc. is a company providing microscopic, high technology products and services to its customers. The company operates a laboratory located in Hillsboro, Oregon and maintains a corporate office in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The company provides precision microscale products and services to microscopy, semiconductor, metrologic, materials science and other industrial and research customers.

The company has developed a microfilm replacement technology for archival preservation which reproduces microscopic pages of text and illustration onto silicon or metal discs; the latest development in these technologies is the NanoRosetta™ archival preservation system which utilizes unique microscopic processes to provide analog and/or digital data, information or pictures onto nickel plates (or onto silver or gold colored polymer discs). Densities of approximately 50,000 pages can be achieved on a 150 mm nickel wafer. The nickel wafer is much more durable as compared to microfilm/microfiche and serves as a replacement for those less archival media.

Dune Sciences - Dune Sciences is a technology company specializing in products and services that facilitate the development and commercialization of nano-enabled products. The company employs several patented and patent-pending technologies to engineer interfaces for the integration of new materials and devices in medicine, bionanotechnology, energy technologies, and nanoscience.

Dune Sciences is the world's only manufacturer of active, or functionalized, TEM grids that enables users to see more clearly on the nanoscale. Our patent-pending SMART Grids products are sold around the world directly from Dune or from one of our distributors found on the left menu.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

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

University of Oregon - Promotes research on nanotechnology through the research centers listen below:

  • Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR): Provide facilities to support research in nanoscience, bioscience, chemistry, materials science, geology and chemistry. CAMCOR’s Nanofabrication and Imaging Facility provides equipment used for supporting nanofabrication, high resolution electron microscopy and electrical characterization techniques.
  • ONAMI - The institute’s key nanotechnology-based research areas include:
    • Nanoelectronics, Nanometrology and Nanobiotechnology
    • Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing
    • Microtechnology-Based Energy and Chemical Systems
    • Green Materials Chemistry

Oregon State University - Promotes nanotechnology-based study and research through the following courses and research centers:

  • Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering Department: Offers a Nanotechnology Processes Option as part of the undergraduate chemical engineering program. This new initiative enables students to understand how to apply the core skills of the ChE discipline in manufacturing nanotechnology-based products.          
  • Nanomaterial-Biological Interactions Knowledgebase: Performs the following tasks to highlight the risks associated with nanomaterial exposure by defining the relationships between nanomaterial physicochemical properties and the biological responses to their exposure. The various tasks are listed below:
    • Identifies the functional design principles of high performing, environmentally-benign nanomaterials
    • Serves as a repository for annotated data on the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials and their biological interactions
    • Predicts potential biological impacts of unsynthesized nanomaterials
    • Organizes and analyzes data and compares results across research platforms in an effort to define robust structure-activity relationships.

Recent Developments

Researchers at Oregon State University recently identified the possibility and benefits of increasing the speed of prototype nano-biosensors that can be used in the field of medicine and also in environmental monitoring, toxicology and development of new drugs. Experts feel that these biosensors can help perform quick medical lab tests and enable doctors to diagnose diseases within a short time period. Through this new discovery, the researchers highlighted the unique capabilities of carbon nanotubes.

Pacific University secured a $40,000 grant from Medical Research Foundation of Oregon New Investigator Award for a research project entitled "Mitigation of doxorubicin induced cardiotoxicity by naturally occurring polyphenols delivered using polymeric nano-systems".

Meanwhile, CSD Nano has made the semifinals in the Willamette Angel Conference, which could net them an investment stake of over $200,000.

Oregon is quite active in the field of nanotechnology. Government lead initiatives are helping to push the case. If these initiatives continue, there is no reason that nano-related activity should decrease, so the state of Oregon should be on the radar for future nanotech developments.


  1. United States Census Bureau - Oregon Quick Facts
  2. Widespread Economic Growth Across States in 2011 (PDF)
  3. Oregon GDP
  4. Oregon - Industries
  5. Oregon - Advanced Manufacturing
  6. Oregon - High Technology
  7. Oregon - Innovation for Future Growth
  8. Pharmacy Assistant Professor Deepa Rao Receives Research Funding
  9. Corvallis firms seek ‘angel’ stakes

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