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Binghamton University researchers ready nanotechnology innovations for market

Imagine clothes that can regulate body temperature. Or sensors that can check sugar levels without drawing blood. Binghamton University researchers Howard Wang and C.J. Zhong are breaking new ground with their discoveries and well on the way to building real commercial success for their ideas.

Wang, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, has worked to perfect electronic inks, infused with nanomaterials, that could find their way into wallpaper computer screens or clothes that regulate body temperature. Zhong, an associate professor of chemistry, has developed nanoparticle-based sensor arrays that could someday monitor air for noxious chemicals, or check diabetics' sugar levels without drawing blood. Both recently started firms to bring their discoveries to market, and both new companies are getting a boost in Binghamton University's new Start-Up Suite.

Wang, vice president and chief scientific officer of NanoMas, founded the company in January with fellow researchers ZhihaoYang, president and chief technology officer, and Tom Xu, vice president and chief operating officer. The NanoMas team has developed efficient, cost-effective processes for manufacturing electronic inks made of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles suspended in liquid.

The inks serve as conductors and semiconductors. Printing them onto thin, flexible substrate, manufacturers can mass-produce circuitry much as a printing press cranks out newspaper sheets. Along with paper-thin video screens and clothing that heats and cools as needed, these light, flexible electronics could form the basis for environmental sensors. They could also enable a new, less-expensive generation of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which manufacturers will embed in product packaging to help retailers manage inventory.

Today, though, manufacturers that are developing machines to print electronic circuitry in high volume are getting ready to bring their products to
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Contact: Gail Glover
gglover@binghamton.edu
607-777-2174
Binghamton University
28-Nov-2006


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