Delft, The Netherlands, January 06, 2019 - Andreas Schmidt-Ott, high-tech pioneer and co-founder of VSParticle announces the launch of the book “Spark Ablation, Building Blocks for Nanotechnology.” The book represents a collective effort being written by a total of 28 researchers from nine different countries, reviewed and edited under Andreas penmanship. The subject deals with spark ablation, a versatile and elegant method of producing the necessary building blocks in nanotechnology. The method is applicable to many technological applications that could lead the way to important innovations in the near future.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Andreas Schmidt-Ott witnessed and contributed to a basic research in solid-state physics dealing with metal particles only a few nanometers in diameter.
This size range had been identified as exciting because of the basic changes in the behavior of matter that occur here. The so called “size effects,” had been predicted from quantum theory and started to be experimentally verified at the time.
Below about 5 nm, the property–size relations changes discontinuously and spontaneously with every atom added or removed, which opens, in principle, a myriad of possible properties with applications in catalysis, chemical sensing, electronics, and many other fields.
40 years later, surprisingly most available inorganic nano products are not yet available in the range of a few nanometers. One of the reasons for the rather slow pace with which we are moving toward the exploitation of size effects below 20 nm is the difficulty of producing well-defined, stable objects and structures in this size range.
Spark ablation, the subject of the book, offers unprecedented flexibility regarding composition and size, opening unlimited access to novel sets of properties. These are emerging properties important in domains like energy conversion and storage, the development of durable artificial leaves converting CO2 and water into fuels and other forms of technologies involved in assuring a sustainable future. Other examples include making use of inorganic particles as catalysts, saving energy in the chemical industry, and avoiding or removing emissions that are threatening to health and climate.
The book seeks to cover the most important application areas in which spark ablation can make a difference and it presents spark ablation as a research tool extremely versatile concerning particle size and composition but also in view of introducing into industry a scalable source of nanoparticulate material.
The book highlights the unique experiences of the authors in dealing with this method and their results so far.
All the chapters complement one another in an interesting way and they manage to create a complete picture of the subject - the broad applicability of spark ablation for scientific, engineering and manufacturing applications.
Mike Roco, Key architect of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (2000–2020) launched under President Clinton, adorned the back cover with some very valuable comments:
“This book highlights the recent progress in design and spark-ablation-based manufacturing methods of nanoparticles, linking fundamental science to multiple applications from advanced materials to biomedicine. The approach is powerful and versatile and has promise of economic implementation in industry.”
Andreas Schmidt-Ott, born in 1952, completed his Ph.D. thesis at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of ETH in Zurich, Switzerland in 1979. In 1988 he joined the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Duisburg University, Germany as Assistant Professor and then became Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. of the same university, where he was Deputy Faculty Chair 1998 - 2001. Subsequently, he accepted a full professorship in Nanoparticle Technology at the Chemical Engineering Department of Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, where he has an emeritus status since 2018. Since 2016 he is also Adjunct Professor at The Cyprus Institute in Nicosia. His main areas of expertise are Nanoparticle and Materials Technology. He temporarily served as Secretary General of the German Aerosol Association (GAeF) and Board Member of the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). He is or was a member of several Editorial Boards of journals and advisor to the Health Council of The Netherlands.
In 2014 he co-founded the company VSPARTICLE (Delft, Netherlands), specialized in solutions for producing and applying particles a few nanometers in diameter, for which he is now working as an advisor. VSPARTICLE has based its technology on Spark Ablation, where the company has become the world leader. Spark ablation systems are already being used in research labs all over the world. The company currently employs 20 people at its headquarters in Delft, and has an international distribution network in the USA, Europe and Asia. (https://www.vsparticle.com)
For ordering the book please click here.
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Delft, The Netherlands, April 8, 2019 – VSPARTICLE, today announced it has joined the Innovation test bed for development and production of nanomaterials for lightweight, embedded electronics (LEE BED). The program, spearheaded by the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 grant program. VSPARTICLE will be introducing its unique nanomaterial printing technology and focusing mainly on gas sensor innovation.
Horizon is ‘the biggest European Union Research and Innovation program ever’ with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020), which is in addition to the private investment that this money is expected to attract. It has promised to bring more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the commercial market.
"Enterprises will be able to prove the viability of new technologies without major investment and financial risk during the all-important initial phase. We have already started working with jewelry giant Swarovski, looking into the idea of intelligent light in their crystals that can be integrated with clothing and home interiors," said Zachary J. Davis, DTI's Project Coordinator.
The possibilities provided by VSPARTICLE’s technology in the test bed program enable highly selective and specific sensors to be made due to the particular nanomaterial’s unique properties, which will then be combined with other partners’ applications.
The test bed allows for access to state-of-the-art facilities within nanomaterial production, ink formulation and digital manufacturing. The lab is open to companies throughout Europe to enable the opportunity to innovate their products with these new technologies for electronics production.
“This project represents the kind of open innovation, and collaboration between scientists and industry that VSParticle champions and that is needed to ensure Europe can take a leadership role in nanotech and it will allow us to bring our technology to the next level,” said Pauline Roels, Chief Product Developer for VSPARTICLE.
Partners and reference cases
DTI is the Project Coordinator for LEE-BED and is running the project with CPI, RISE, TNO, Fraunhofer, Eindhoven University of Technology, TPU, CEA, VSPARTICLE, ITENE, Axia, Sustainable Innovations and SD Partners. LEE-BED already has four industrial cases with European companies: Swarovski, Maier, Acciona and Grafietic.
VSPARTICLE makes machines that produce nanoparticles of predictable sizes and material properties and does it with the push of a button. These particles serve as the foundation for new materials and nano-enabled products.
About the Company
VSPARTICLE is a Dutch nanotechnology company that provides research and industry with the tools to manufacture nanoparticles and nanostructured materials. Since 2014, the company helps scientists and industry leaders to drastically reduce the development time of new materials and products, by making it as easy as pushing a button. VSPARTICLE is a privately funded company by investors who see untapped potential in the company, especially for applications in semiconductors, sensors, catalysis, healthcare, batteries, fuel cells and pv. The company currently employs 20 people at its headquarters in Delft, and has an international distribution network in the USA, Europe and Asia. (https://www.vsparticle.com)
For more information on the LEE BED project please go to: http://lee-bed.eu/
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Delft, The Netherlands, November 26, 2018 – VSPARTICLE, today announced its low-cost technology to print nanostructured materials that will finally enable applications such as smart contact lenses to succeed. The nanotech company has developed an additive manufacturing technology that can be used for numerous applications, such as producing real-time medical sensors (glucose sensing, bio-marker sensing, etc.), as well as, accurate gas sensors.
VSPARTICLE is able to produce extremely sensitive materials, built up from pure metals and oxides, which can be printed on flexible substrates, such as polymers. Its technology provides the important accuracy required for glucose testing, as one example, and can be reproduced quickly. The main focus for this technology is sensors, semiconductors, micro-batteries, micro-LED’s and bioelectronics. Google (Alphabet, Verily) announced in a blog post last week that it has stopped its glucose measuring smart lens project in part because ‘after four years of research detecting blood sugar in tears is a massive --- and potentially insurmountable --- technical and scientific undertaking.’
“Being able to print on curved, flexible surfaces is one of the biggest challenges for medical sensors, next to bio-compatibility of sensor material. With the lens we are able to solve both problems as we have demonstrated by printing a gold sensor on an ordinary contact lens,” says Vincent Laban, CFO for VSPARTICLE.
The university spinout, VSPARTICLE, makes machines that produce nanoparticles in the crucially important right amounts and sizes and does it with the push of a button. These particles serve as the foundation for new materials and nano-enabled products. With the launch of its 3D Nanoprinter next year, it will make the printing of materials with nanoparticle properties just as simple and effective.
"The technology that VSP has developed has the potential to literally change the world. Every investor is looking for that special company that can actually have a real impact. VSPARTICLE is that company," says Keesjan Cordia, investor with Invaco Management, which seed funded the company in 2017.
The potential for VSPARTICLE’s smart contact lens tech is extensive outside of its medical uses. Future scenarios already in development by companies and institutes such as IMEC, incorporate electronics and LEDs on contact lenses, or even involve recording video or taking photos using voluntary blinks to control the images. VSPARTCLE’s technology would play a key role in making such applications viable.
The company was spun out of leading Dutch university, TU Delft, by professor Andreas Schmidt-Ott, scientist Tobias Pfeiffer and former student, Van Vugt in 2014. The entrepreneurs spent the first two years, improving and simplifying the technology to make it easy enough to get results with the push of a button. Many believe the potential for VSPARTICLE’s technology is enormous.
About the Company
VSPARTICLE is the Dutch nanotechnology company that provides research and industry with the tools to manufacture nanoparticles and nanostructured materials. Since 2014, the company helps scientists and industry leaders to drastically reduce the development time of new materials and products, by making it as easy as pushing a button. VSPARTICLE is a privately funded company by investors who see untapped potential in the company, especially for applications in semiconductors, sensors, catalysis, healthcare, batteries, fuel cells and pv. The company currently employs 20 people at its headquarters in Delft, and has an international distribution network in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Materiaal tot in de kleinste details ontleden en daarna weer zo in elkaar zetten dat het iets heel anders wordt. Aaike van Vugt slaagt erin nanotechnologie zo te beschrijven dat het lijkt alsof het over Lego gaat. “De mogelijkheden zijn oneindig. Ik wil mijn enthousiasme daarover met iedereen kunnen delen.”
October 12, 2018 - Jack Seaberry, nWN
Aaike van Vugt is the CEO and co-founder of VSPARTICLE, a company which supplies nanoparticle production technology. The spark ablation technique developed by the VSPARTICLE team is poised to revolutionize the field of nanotechnology by addressing root issues which have been hobbling
research and industrial adoption time.
12th June 2018 - Scitech Europa
VSPARTICLE is on a mission to speed up research in new nanomaterials by automating the production of advanced nanomaterials. The company introduced the VSP-G1 with the philosophy that making nanomaterials for research should be quick and easy. With the option for a four-month trial period the technology will be accessible for any researcher.
October 2015 - Nature
Continuous gas-phase synthesis of nanoparticles is associated with rapid agglomeration, which can be a limiting factor for numerous applications. In this report, we challenge this paradigm by providing experimental evidence to support that gas-phase methods can be used to produce ultrapure non-agglomerated “singlet” nanoparticles having tunable sizes at room temperature.
Read the full article https://www.nature.com/articles/srep15788
Last week, the moment had finally arrived for Delft nanotech startup VSParticle: the start of the Soft Landing Program by InnovationQuarter, Medical Delta and UC (Berkeley) CITRIS. The Program is being implemented under a MoU signed in 2016 by the above parties in the presence of Minister Jet Bussemaker.
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY OF VSPARTICLE ALLOWS RESEARCHERS TO PRODUCE NANOPARTICLES AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON. Beijing/Delft, November 16, 2017 – Delft University of Technology spin-off VSPARTICLE enters the booming Chinese market with a radical technology that allows researchers to produce nanoparticles at the push of a button. VSPARTICLE’s nanoparticle generator uses atoms, the worlds’ smallest building blocks, to provide a controllable source of nanoparticles. The start-up from Delft signed a distribution agreement with Bio-Sun to make their VSP-G1 nanoparticle generator available in China.
Tuesday, February 24th, VSParticle won the STARTUP Competition. This competition is a collaboration between Delft University of Technology and MIT to encourage entrepreneurship. The winners of the competition will be fully sponsored to go to MIT for three months this summer to take part in the Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator.
The finals took place during the Entrepreneurship Forum in the Auditorium of Delft University of Technology. In front of a packed auditorium the six companies, consisting of PowerWindow, VSParticle, Atmos UAV, Samsara, Beacon en CoH co., had ninety seconds to pitch their startup and answer a few questions from the jury. A great success, according to Kyle Judah, Program Director MIT GFSA: “Students were excited, the teams performed really really well”. After a short discussion by the jury, the jury chairman Theun Baller, dean of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, announced the winning team. The jury selected VSParticle based on the following criteria: “Is it real Delft Technology? Is it close to market? And which team would benefit most from a stay at MIT?”.
Aaike van Vugt and Tobias Pfeiffer are the founders of VSParticle. Having a background in Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology, they developed a bench top unit that enables the production and deposition of nanoparticles on a carrier in one step, removing all intermediate processes, shipping, and handling costs. For this they used a process based on spark-ablation, developed at Delft University of Technology, that reduces all process steps back to just one single process. This is ground-breaking technology that could lead to many innovations, or how Aaike put it: “We want to bring you guys the next generation of products!”.
De MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator is an annual educational programme for students of MIT and is the premier university student accelerator in the world. Each year about ten teams of MIT will be selected as well as four teams from other universities. Due to the close collaboration between Delft University of Technology and MIT, this year a team of Delft students gets the opportunity to partake in the programme. From June till September teams are being prepared for entrepreneurship and are being supported in developing their startup. During these three months teams can earn up to $20,000 by meeting monthly milestones. In the beginning of September the teams will present their startup to American investors during Demo Day to secure enough investment for a successful start of their company.
At the beginning of February a selection of the applicants for the STARTUP Competitionpitched in front of a jury during the semi-finals. Five teams were then selected to pitch at the finals. The winners of the course ‘Turning Technology into Business’ became the sixth candidate this year.
The Entrepreneurship Forum is an event organised by YES!Delft Students to which around a thousand students attend yearly. At this event founders and CEO’s of successful companies share their stories with students and in between their presentations the finalists of STARTUP pitch. In this way an interesting mix forms of lectures from professionals on the one hand and pitches of young talent on the other hand.