Nanowires are a special class of nanoscale materials that are one-dimensional crystalline forms of materials. Process chemistry for synthesizing nanoscale, spherically shaped particles is well known. But, there are no reliable process chemistry schemes known which prohibited the development of technologies for producing nanowires at any appreciable quantities. AdEM has developed several process chemistry schemes and reactor technology termed as NanowireX™ for bulk production of nanowires at kilograms per day per reactor. This system offers ultrafast nanowire production at low processing cost, no waste or contamination, and the flexibility to produce nanowires of interest for a number of different materials. The nanowire materials are targeted for use in dye sensitized solar cells, large format batteries for electric vehicle and grid-scale batteries, and drug carriers in biomedical applications. The use of nanowire assemblies in above devices allows better charge transport and stress accommodation for improved durability and efficiency. Solar cells and automotive batteries require several hundred grams of nanowires just for simple testing and device prototyping; for commercial production, several tons per day would be required.
NanowireX utilizes ultrafast reaction time scales using atmospheric plasma discharges to achieve continuous production of nanowires in gas phase. The technology for various nanowire materials production is protected by a number of US Patents (12/248,731; 7,591,897; 7,182,812; 6,806,228; 7,252,811; 7,445,671; 7,241,432).
The nanowire powders collected at the bottom using a filter system. The characteristics of the nanowire powders can be controlled with in the following range: diameters from 10-100 nm; and lengths from 1-100 microns. The resulting nanowire powders are collected as soft-agglomerates and are easily dispersed in solutions for use in making thin or thick films.