Shrink Nanotechnologies Inc., an innovative nanotechnology companydeveloping products and licensing opportunities in the solar energyindustry, medical diagnostics and sensors and biotechnology research and development tools businesses, has formed a wholly owned subsidiarycalled BlackBox Semiconductor Inc.
BlackBox has entered into aworldwide multi-year exclusive license with the University of Chicago,licensing work based on Assistant Professor of Chemistry, DmitriTalapin’s "electronic glue" chemistry. The license covers allapplications except for thermoelectric applications.
"We arepleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with theUniversity of Chicago to license intellectual property that we believehas the potential to radically change the economics in a number ofburgeoning large industries, including printed semiconductors,roll-to-roll printed solar cells and a new generation of low costprinted nano-sensors. This technology and the ongoing work by itsinventors is widely acclaimed and has been published on multipleoccasions in the world’s most prestigious academic journals, includingScience, Nature and the Journal of the American Chemical Society," saidMark L. Baum, CEO of Shrink Nanotechnologies.
Semiconductors have served as choice materials for many electronic and optical devicesbecause of their physical properties. Semiconductor nanocrystals aremass-produceable and have promise for use in device manufacturing viainkjet printing and other solution-based processes.
Commercialsolar cells, computer chips and other semiconductor technologiestypically use large semiconductor crystals, such as silicon.
These materials and the processes required to manufacture commercial products from them are expensive and can make large-scale applications such asrooftop solar-energy collectors prohibitive. Also, material such assilicon is not "tunable" which means they can only harness a relativelynarrow part of the available solar spectrum.
Whilesemiconductor nanocrystals are very good receptors of light which couldbe converted to electricity (in the case of a solar cell), thecollection of electrical charges from individual semiconductornanocrystals cannot be accomplished efficiently using existingtechnologies because the semiconductor nanocrystals themselves are notgreat "carriers" of the electricity produced by the light they receive.
Prior to Dr. Talapin’s innovation – which has been called "electronic glue" – nanocrystals were unable to efficiently transfer their electric charges to one another because of the surface ligands which are used in thenanocrystal synthesis process. These surface ligands are bulky,insulating organic molecules that cap nanocrystals. Dr. Talapin’s"electronic glue" solves the ligand problem by substituted insulatingorganic molecules with novel inorganic molecules and dramaticallyincreases the electronic coupling between nanocrystals.
Baumconcluded: "We have been working on nanocrystal applications since westarted Shrink. We have an appreciation of the shortcomings ofnanocrystals for these ‘killer apps’ like solar cells and other largemarket semiconductor applications. We believe what we have is thepotential to build low cost tunable solid state semiconductors whichperform like bulk semiconductors, but which maintain all of thetremendous benefits that semiconductor nanocrystals offer.
"Thislicense is an important part of how we intend to drive value for ourshareholders, as we build our business by executing on our unique model. Over the coming months, we will begin to discuss this powerfultechnology and our plans to deploy resources to develop targetedcommercial applications with it."