Aculon, Inc. specializes in inventing and commercializing unique molecular-scale surface and interfacial coatings leveraging nanotechnology discoveries made at Princeton University. These coatings can be classified into three functional areas; non-stick, pro-stick/adhesion, and anti-corrosion.
The company has formulated coating solutions and processes for numerous markets including optical, display, electronics, consumer products and industrial coatings. These specialized coatings outperform all known alternatives in characteristics such as adhesion, stain resistance, and scratch resistance.
Fueling the company’s commercialization efforts are its proprietary Self-Assembled Monolayer of Phosphonates (SAMP) technology. The commercialization of SAMP treatments can be used for a variety of applications including imparting hydrophobicity, adhesion, or corrosion inhibition to numerous substrates.
For surface treatments to be effective, they must be mechanically and chemically stable under conditions experienced in the intended area of use. Aculon’s proprietary Self-Assembled Monolayer of Phosphonates methodology can impart any of these properties as desired to metals, metal oxides and even some polymer surfaces by drawing on its library of structurally tailored phosphonic acids.
The secret to the commercialization is covalent bonding, which creates a uniquely strong attachment between the SAMP and the substrate. Because the SAMP is one approximately 1.5 nm thick, it completely covers the material to which it is applied, and assures total surface coverage regardless of the type or texture of that material. The composition of the SAMP determines the properties that it imparts to its substrate.
In 1998, Professor Jeffery Schwartz of Princeton University discovered that well-ordered monolayers of phosphonates could be formed by self-assembly on a wide variety of oxide and oxide-terminated surfaces. At that time Professor Schwartz and his team also discovered that a simple dip process enabled SAMP formation on substrates of complex structures and geometries, as well as traditionally “unreactive” surfaces.
The research showed that SAMP adhesion to oxides was mechanically strong and resisted removal by hydrolysis and oxidation. It showed further that by using the dip method, SAMPs of a variety of molecular structures, including aliphatic, aromatic, and heteroaromatic, could be prepared.
Commercialization of SAMPs proves that such surface-bound phosphonates can dictate control of the surface properties of myriad substrates and that they can be implemented using well-known industrial techniques and conditions. These processes can be scaled to meet the needs of large or small facilities, and can be applied to surfaces of nearly any size or shape without special needs. Based on the needs of the producer, surface modification can be completed during the time of manufacturing or can be performed as a post-production step.