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Will nanomaterials define our future?. Dr John Robinson Competency Leader. Outline. What are nanomaterials ? Commercialisation case Studies What might the future hold? Conclusions. What are Nanomaterials ?. A Materials Science approach to Nanotechnology

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Will nanomaterials define our future
Will nanomaterials define our future?

Dr John Robinson

Competency Leader


  • What are nanomaterials?

  • Commercialisation case Studies

  • What might the future hold?

  • Conclusions

What are nanomaterials
What are Nanomaterials?

  • A Materials Science approach to Nanotechnology

  • ‘Nanomaterial’: at least 1 external or internal dimension at the nanoscale (less than 100 nm)

    • 1 nanometre = 10-9metre (million times smaller than a millimetre)

      • eg: Nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanorods, thin films, nanostructured materials.



Nanostructured particles

Why are nanomaterials of interest
Why are Nanomaterials of interest?

  • Compared to traditional materials, nanomaterials:

    • Have increased surface area

    • Are potentially:

      • Harder, stronger, more flexible

    • Often present:

      • Unique optical, electronic, thermal properties

    • Nanomaterials are not new:

      • Carbon black, photographic silvers, Ming Dynasty glazes

      • ‘Nanohype’ began in 1990’s with advances in electron microscopy

Potential nanomaterials applications
Potential Nanomaterials Applications

But products don’t always develop along the lines we expect…

Case studies
Case Studies

  • Antaria Limited

    • Advanced Materials development & manufacturing company

    • Based in Western Australia

    • Technology start-up company, established 1997, initially focusing on nanomaterials

Case studies cerium oxide
Case Studies: Cerium Oxide

  • Nanoparticulate cerium oxide synthesized by Mechanochemical Processing

10 nm

20 nm

50 nm

Case studies cerium oxide1
Case Studies: Cerium Oxide

  • Precision polishing of microelectronic components (Chemical Mechanical Planarization: CMP)

    • Cerium oxide believed to be next generation CMP material

    • Samsung Corning (SSC) invested $6m in 2000

    • Pilot plant constructed to demonstrate scalability of process

  • Result:

    • Nano cerium oxide unable to displace lower cost silica based CMP slurries

      • 2013: cerium oxide based slurries account for <1% CMP market

    • CMP slurry project dropped…

Case studies cerium oxide2
Case Studies: Cerium Oxide

  • Antaria approached by Oxonica in 2003:

    • Dispersion of cerium oxide nanoparticles for diesel fuel additive?

  • “Envirox”:

    • Fuel borne cerium oxide nanoparticles act as combustion catalyst

    • Improves efficiency of combustion of diesel fuel

    • Assists in burning of carbon deposits

  • Envirox now marketed by Energenics EU: utilized by Stagecoach Bus Co.

Case studies aluminium oxide
Case Studies: Aluminium Oxide

  • Micron sized plate-like alumina particulates with nanoscale thickness

Case studies aluminium oxide1
Case Studies: Aluminium Oxide

  • Applications initially pursued:

    • Hard coatings

    • Advanced ceramics

      • Toughening ceramics / glasses

    • Specialty lubricants

    • Transparent polymer additive:

      • Improved strength

      • Reduced friction

  • Result: unable to compete on price in comparison with existing materials / additives…

Case studies aluminium oxide2
Case Studies: Aluminium Oxide

  • “Alusion” developed by chance:

    • Functional cosmetics pigment:

      • Soft focus effect with enhanced cosmetic ‘feel’

  • Technology licensed to Merck KGaA in2009:

    • Alusion incorporated in cosmetics pigments range

      • “RonaFlare White Sapphire”

    • Collaborative R&D aimed at development of pearlescent pigment products for automotive and other applications.

Cosmetics a surprising market
Cosmetics: a surprising market?

  • Antaria now focus entirely on Aluminium Oxide and Zinc Oxide for cosmetics & sunscreens.

  • Nanomaterialsin cosmetics estimated at $155.8M end 2012

    • Ref: BCC NAN017D

  • Nano ZnO & TiO2UV absorbers in Personal Care estimated at $280m by 2015.

    • Ref: BCC NAN031D

  • Where else can nanotechnology go?

  • What does the future hold
    What does the future hold?

    • Current global nanomaterials market size?

      • $1.7 Billion in 2010 / growing 23% pa to 2016

        • Ref: Global nanomaterials opportunity and emerging trends, Lucintel report, March 2011

      • $9.9 Billion in 2010 / growing at 14.7% pa to 19.6 Billion in 2015

        • Ref: Nanotechnology: a realistic market assessment, BCC report NAN031D, July 2011

      • Depends how the market is defined

    What does the future hold1
    What does the future hold?

    Anticipated global nanotechnology market segmentation 2015

    • $1.7

    Estimated market size $19.6 billion in 2015: Ref: BCC NAN031D

    What does the future hold2
    What does the future hold?

    Graphene: next generation nanomaterial?

    • Discovered 2004, University of Manchester (Nobel prize 2010)

    • Chicken-wire type structure of C-atoms, single layer thick.

    • Properties:

      • Hard as diamond

      • Flexible as rubber

      • Exceptional electric and thermal conductivity

      • High surface area

      • Transparent



    What does the future hold3
    What does the future hold?

    Graphene: next generation nanomaterial?

    Global graphene market tipped to reach ~$520 million by 2020

    (BCC AVM075A, Feb 2011)


    • A bright future for nanomaterials?

      • Challenges:

        • Cost competitiveness / performance advantage

        • Nanomaterials safety: Regulatory hurdles

    • It seems safe to conclude:

      • Nanomaterials markets will continue to grow

      • New nanomaterials will continue to emerge

    • The 3 E’s will to continue to dominate:

      • Electronic / Energy / Environmental

        • $Billion opportunities

    • Highest growth in healthcare & consumer goods

      • Antibacterial applications / Cosmetics…

        • $100M opportunities