Precisely Engineered Nanomaterials Developed Specifically for Your Product

Many nanomaterial companies focus on a single material or limited set of commercial, off-the-shelf materials in an attempt to support a customer’s goal of creating a new product or system. Cerion knows that these nanomaterials rarely work as intended and can lead to a frustrating experience of suboptimal performance and integration challenges during a customer’s product development process.

Due to quantum effects, materials take on special properties at the nano (< 100 nm) scale that are not seen in their bulk counterparts. Variations in the size and compositions of these nanoparticles can broadly impact these properties and behaviors and can therefore be finely tuned and harnessed to tackle a wide (or even limitless) range of product challenges.

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With over a decade of experience, we’ve demonstrated consistently that for nanomaterials to be effective, they must be purposefully designed to be as unique and distinct as the product or system they will be incorporated into. For this reason, our goal is to provide customers with access to the exact material specifications they need to maximize the material’s performance and resolve their product integration challenges.

Nanomaterial Types

We specialize in a broad class of inorganic nanomaterials spanning metals, metal oxides and ceramics – with a wide degree of precision control over the design of the nanoparticle’s size and technical attributes. This specialization is further extended to include unique compositions such as alloys, core / shells and doped nanoparticles.

Below is a partial list of the metal, metal oxide and ceramic nanomaterials we work with:

  • Barium titanate (BaTiO3)
  • Boron carbide (B4C)
  • Cerium dioxide (CeO2, ceria, cerium(IV) oxide, ceric oxide, ceric dioxide, cerium oxide or cerium dioxide)
  • Cobalt oxide (Co3O4, cobalt(II,III) oxide)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Gold (Au)
  • Iron oxide (Fe3O4, iron(II,III) oxide, magnetite, Fe2O3, iron(III) oxide-hydroxide, FeOOH, iron oxyhydroxide)
  • Palladium (Pd)
  • Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2)
  • Silver (Ag)
  • Silver chloride (AgCl)
  • Titanium dioxide (titanium(IV) oxide or titania, TiO2, anatase)
  • Tungsten carbide (WC)
  • Zinc oxide (ZnO)
  • Zirconium dioxide (zirconia ZrO2)
  • and more…

How Our Customers Use Nanomaterials

While bulk materials have constant properties regardless of size – the size and composition of a nanoparticle will dictate its properties and behavior.  These unique characteristics are subsequently leveraged to solve intractable product challenges, or to create new enhancements not previously possible.  Generally speaking, our customers are using nanomaterials to improve the physical, chemical, thermal, electrical, magnetic, optical and / or mechanical properties of their products.  These nanomaterials may be used as the primary ingredient, component or sub-component of a product or system.

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Just as nanomaterials are not one size fits all, the same goes for the synthetic routes used to produce them. We are proud to have a team of materials scientists and engineers who are highly skilled in the art of nanomaterial synthesis and can readily determine the process best suited to meet a customer’s performance, technical and cost requirements. When combined with our industry leading investments in synthetic expertise, know-how and equipment – this provides our customers with the right material, made by the best synthetic route, which yields the most economical price point.

Synthetic Routes

In synthetic chemistry, there are multiple pathways that can be used to create a material, and nanomaterials are no exception. Each route has unique advantages and disadvantages that must be evaluated against the design criteria for the nanomaterial, technical outcomes desired and cost of employing that method.

In the early stages when working with a nanomaterial supplier, it is important to understand the relative advantages and disadvantages before the material design stage begins. Equally important is ensuring the supplier can scale-up and cost effectively produce at industrial volumes.

Customer Needs First, Synthetic Approach Second

Nanomaterial manufacturers will often have invested in capability for a single synthetic method and attempt to fit this approach to every customer’s needs. This does not give the customer, or the material being produced, the advantage. Instead, Cerion is focused on providing customers with access to the synthesis pathway that will yield the best technical and cost performance for their product or system. Our pathways include bottom-up approaches such as precipitation, hydrothermal, solvothermal and high temperature processes; as well as unique top-down approaches such as high-energy milling.

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Synthetic Pathways

Preparation of nanoparticles by precipitation allows for significant control over composition, particle size and size distribution. These technical attributes dictate nanomaterial properties (chemical, electronic, magnetic, optical and physical) and are key to designing a nanomaterial that is best suited and most impactful for a customer’s product. In this reaction pathway, aqueous or nonaqueous soluble precursors react in solution to form precipitated nanoparticles. Following precipitation, products are typically purified and dispersed in the solvent system required for the customer’s target application, often with capping agents to improve dispersion stability and compatibility with the customer’s product manufacturing process.

Hydrothermal & Solvothermal
A wide range of crystalline nanoparticles can be prepared by extending precipitation synthesis to the high pressure and temperature conditions utilized in hydrothermal and solvothermal methods. These reaction conditions allow certain nanomaterials to be made in a shorter timeframe, capable of bringing a reaction that takes multiple days down to a day or less. The post-synthesis processing typically includes purification and dispersal into the appropriate solvent system, as well as surface modification to improve dispersion stability and compatibility with the customer’s product manufacturing process.

Thermal Reduction
Utilizing temperatures up to 1700°C in air and 2300°C in an inert environment, oxide and non-oxide materials (e.g., carbides, metals) can be synthesized with features including high strength, wear resistance, and stability in extreme conditions. These nanomaterials can then be processed into several different forms including suspensions, powders, and monoliths. When possible, Cerion utilizes solution-based precursors to ensure product homogeneity. This synthetic pathway offers significant control over composition, particle size and particle size distribution enabling efficient and economical production.

Cerion Nanomaterials prides itself on supporting the full lifecycle of our customer’s needs – including the design, scale-up and manufacturing of the nanomaterials they use in their products.  We are equally committed to continuous improvement.  Each year we invest to expand the range of our synthetic capabilities, continually improve our expertise and know-how as well as add new analytical and characterization capability.  All with the goal of ensuring our industrial, life science and defense customers have access to the materials they need, at a price point they can afford.

Find out more about our customer-focused approach to nanomaterial design and manufacturing.

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