LUXEMBOURG – Single-wall carbon nanotubes are on the fast track to displacing carbon black, multi-wall carbon nanotubes, carbon fibers and other conventional additives from their dominant position in the additives market. In Luxembourg last week, pioneers in the field of advanced materials engineering gathered together to explore the advantages of this tiny wonder material and its applications in numerous industries, as well as to see how it is moving the boundaries of what is possible in the coatings industry.

For the third year in a row, OCSiAl's Nanoaugmented Materials Industry Summit gathered together around 400 industry pioneers from 30 countries to enjoy business networking opportunities while learning more about producing high-performance nanoaugmented materials with single-wall carbon nanotubes.

These nanotubes are ideal for applications in de-icing windows, touch panels, OLEDs, solar cells and EMI shielding. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have achieved a number of striking results in using single-wall carbon nanotubes in transparent electrodes on top of OLEDs. "With single-wall carbon nanotubes, you can control the transparency, conductivity and work function," said Gabby Sarusi, Professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Sarusi is working on the doping of nanotubes to reduce their work function in order to level it with the work function of OLEDs. "N-doped nanotubes have shown very promising initial results in the quest for efficient transparent cathodes in OLEDs, LCs and others."

Dr. Vladimir Saik from OCSiAl Group presented recent results on thin conductive films made by applying the company's TUBALL nanotubes as a conductive layer on almost any type of substrate, including plastic and glass. "Thin conductive films made of TUBALL nanotubes have the highest resistance-to-transparency index reported to date. This disruptive technology may help to increase the efficiency and reduce the price of metal-free cells in the future," said Saik. This work has the potential to be relevant for applications in a multitude of fields, including solar cells, transparent anti-static coatings, touch panels, smart windows and printed electronics.

One of the most promising novel application fields for single-wall carbon nanotubes is their use in flexible and wearable electronic devices. "Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics of The Chinese Academy of Sciences will strengthen its studying of single-wall carbon nanotubes," said Associate Professor Yongyi Zhang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. "We believe that single-wall carbon nanotube-based conductive films will have better conductivity and reduced weight." Chinese scientists are working on the development of market-oriented technology that can be scaled up to industrial volumes.

Acknowledging the fact that health and safety issues are a linchpin in any transformation of leading-edge technology into mainstream engineering and industry, OCSiAl continues its responsible approach to health, safety and environmental issues. At the summit, the company briefed its partners on the latest results received from independent laboratories, including confirmation that no nanotubes are released during utilization of materials augmented with TUBALL. "OCSiAl is planning to invest further in additional H&S and environmental studies because we are committed to taking the lead in raising the transparency of nanotube management and to supporting our clients' efforts in boosting their applications in a wide range of industries, including consumable products," added Gunther Van Kerckhove, OCSiAl’s EHS Lead Manager.

NanoSummit 2017 closed on an upbeat note, having taken another significant step forward in bringing the nano-augmented materials revolution to an even wider range of industries. Being a hub for the development of the most cutting-edge technologies and industry breakthroughs, Shanghai has been chosen as the venue for the Nanoaugmented Materials Industry Summit in 2018.