Date: March 29, 2011
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Venue: MAE Faculty Lounge J223
Bringing a NanoTechnology to Market
Timothy P. Weihs
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Johns Hopkins University
NanoFoil® is a metallic foil product with thousands of nanoscale layers that react on ignition to produce rapid bursts of heat and light. The laminate foil is sold as a local heat source to replace furnaces and hotplates in conventional soldering operations. By using a foil to heat just the interface being bonded, materials with large mismatches in contraction on cooling (metals and ceramics) can be bonded without warping or cracking and temperature sensitive electronic components can be joined without damaged by high furnace temperatures. Other applications include sealing packages, igniting other reactions, and providing controlled time delays.
The multilayer foils were developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Johns Hopkins University and then were commercialized by Reactive NanoTechnologies (RNT), a venture backed startup, beginning in 2002. In 2009 the NanoFoil® technology was sold to Indium Corporation of America and it is currently used to join sputtering targets to backing plates, as well as many other components.
In this presentation I will first introduce the technology and then I will describe the commercial history of this novel nanotechnology. Patent protection and licensing, the acquisition of venture financing and government funding, and the constant challenge of penetrating material markets will be addressed.