Universiteit Leiden

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Nanoparticles

Leiden University has developed a radically different method for large scale production of diverse nanoparticles and their alloys.

This new electrochemical method is advantageous to other nanoparticle production methods:

  • Simple and easily scalable
  • Cost effective
  • Versatile: all metals, metal alloys, oxides can be produced
  • Precisely engineered sizes, compositions, shapes, and dispersity
  • High purity
  • Compatible with industrial lines
  • Unique (combine central features from both ‘dry’ aerosol and we-chemistry methods)

A Proof of Principle has been demonstrated and a larger production unit became operational recently. The new unit will make it possible to provide research institutes and industry samples for further evaluation.

The Leiden University is looking for industrial strategic partners for (exclusive) licensing the technology and/or further research and development. We plan to choose the partners for further development before August 2017.

Our technology – Cathodic Corrosion Method (CCM)

TEM images of nanoparticles

Cathodic corrosion for producing nanoparticles was (re)discovered when trying to control the electrochemical etching of a scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) tip. We have shown that the metal nanoparticles (NPs) and their alloys can be easily produced by using cathodic corrosion and their sizes and compositions can be controlled. The produced  NPs were shown to have high catalytic activity and superior to the commercial ones. Since cathodic corrosion is radically different from all other existing methods of NP synthesis, its ability for tuning properties of NPs is still relatively unexplored, and hence improved characteristics are still expected. Given the enormous simplicity and versatility of the method, we believe that cathodic corrosion has unique potential.

In 2016, we have greatly advanced this method, including the inhibition of agglomeration, the scaling up of NP production and the in-situ impregnation of functional nanocomposites. This work is funded by STW (NWO TTW).

Team / department

The method has been developed in the Electrochemistry Research Group of Leiden University (CASC), lead by prof. dr. Marc Koper. A dedicated team of researchers is doing fundamental research on cathodic corrosion method (CCM) and further developing and up-scaling the CCM technology.

For Industry

The size of nanoparticles range from 2 – 100 nm in liquids. Producing an extensive variety of nanoparticles and their alloys  makes this method unique for almost all applications among:

  • Medical
  • Catalysts
  • Optoelectronics
  • Conductive inks
  • Antibacterial applications (low-cost sub-10-nm silver nanoparticles)

We have also developed some initial ideas for implementing CCM in industrial production processes, such as producing catalysts.

More information is available upon request. For industry/business development/licensing please contact dr. Peter Westerhuijs.

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