Posted on May 2, 2018 by staff

Nanotech firm and Nobel Prize winner launch new venture


A group specialising in developing nanotechnology for applications including high-definition TV screens has teamed up with a Nobel Prize-winning professor to launch a new business.

London Stock Exchange-listed Nanoco Group has established Nanoco 2D Materials with support from the University of Manchester.

The new venture will focus on developing and commercialising a new generation of nano-materials on a large scale.

Two dimensional nano-particles are one or two atoms thick and a few nanometres wide (one metre equals 1 billion nanometres) that can be used in a wide range of industrial and electronics applications.

The company says there is currently no cost-effective way to produce these 2D materials on a commercial scale.

For the past year, it has been collaborating with the University of Manchester’s Professor Novoselov, 2010 winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on graphene.

Dr Nigel Pickett, co-founder and CTO of Nanoco, said: “By combining Nanoco’s expertise with the knowledge base from Professor Novoselov’s lab we have been able to push the boundaries of material science to come up with a new generation of versatile 2D nano-particles and are now utilising Nanoco’s 15 years of scale-up expertise on methods to produce them at commercial scale.

“Potential commercial applications for these materials span across a wide range of sectors including novel catalysts, photo-detectors, photovoltaics, inverters and light emitting devices.”

Professor Novoselov added: “It is exciting to see how quickly 2D materials, beyond graphene, has accelerated from the early research stage to the technology we now have. Working with a very knowledgeable and dedicated Nanoco team continues to be a very refreshing experience.

“The ability of our combined teams to focus on particular technological and performance parameters is allowing the rapid development of these 2D Materials.”

Setting up the new business comes after the University of Manchester provided £400,000 funding towards the project.

Clive Rowland, chief executive of the university’s innovation company UMI3, said: “Part of the university’s strategy for commercialising graphene and its sister 2D materials is to work with existing companies and entrepreneurs to help them set-up R&D centres and new companies close to the campus to create a technology innovation ecosystem here – Graphene City®.

“I’m delighted that we are working with Nanoco, which itself is a spin-out from the University. Its experience in the handling and scaling up of nanomaterials and access to its relevant facilities were key factors in us deciding to support this initiative.”