Innovating tomorrow's materials today

New high-tech materials are the key to breakthroughs in biology, the environment, nuclear energy, transportation and national security. Argonne continues to make revolutionary advances in the science of materials discovery and synthesis, and is designing new materials with advantageous properties — one atom at a time. Examples of these include Argonne’s patented technologies for nanoparticle applications, heat transfer and materials for advanced energy storage.

Nano Design Works (NDW) capitalizes on the power of nanotechnology and provides services to strengthen its impact. With expertise in nanomaterials, computing, chemistry, materials, and energy systems, along with its world-class facilities, Argonne is a perfect match for companies looking to make a big impact with tiny materials.

Argonne works with existing and start-up businesses to license our technologies and to develop, analyze, and test new technology. Please contact to explore how you and Argonne can work together.

Containment Unidirectional Resource Loading System (CURLS)

  • Allows for easy and rapid glovebox resource changes, while maintaining containment
  • Can be mounted in existing glove ports, offering an array of fail-safe cartridges for all resource needs

Device and Method for Fluidizing and Coating of Ultrafine Particles

  • A low-cost, scalable process for increasing structural stability and cell capacity of battery electrodes
  • Creates an ultra-thin film that allows lithium ions and electrons to easily tunnel without a large increase in impedance

Few-Layer Graphene as a Dry Lubricant

  • Functions as a dry lubricant, reducing wear four-fold and friction six-fold
  • Cost-competitive with oil-based lubricants; may replace oil-based lubricants in some applications

Frequency Stabilization in Nonlinear MEMS and NEMS Oscillators

  • Excellent frequency stability; provides a strategy for optimizing and engineering micro- and nanoscale devices
  • Easy to fabricate at reduced cost

Heat Transfer Fluids Containing Nanoparticles

  • A stable, non-reactive nanofluid that exhibits enhanced heat transfer properties
  • Enables more productive and efficient cooling systems

Layered Copper-Based Electrode for High-Dielectric Constant Oxide Thin-Film-Based Devices

  • Offers high conductivity and protection against oxidation
  • Low-cost process

Metal Oxide Semiconductor Nanoparticles Open the Door to New Medical Innovations

  • Allows for targeting, initiation and control of in vitro and in vivo chemical reactions in biological molecules
  • Commercial applications include synthetic DNA/RNA endonucleases, gene surgery, targeted cell metabolic intervention and more

Thermal Multilayer Coating Analysis

  • Accurately measure coating thermal conductivity and heat capacity (and/or thickness) distributions over an entire component’s surface
  • Only method that can analyze coatings of more than one layer,

Nanomaterials Analysis Using a Scanning Electron Microscope

  • Increases detection capabilities of SEMs at the nanoscale by up to 500%
  • Reduces the time and cost of routine nanomaterials analysis

Robust Diamond-Based RF Switch Yields Enhanced Communication Capabilities

  • A specialized radio frequency (RF) micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) switch that promises enhanced capabilities for next-generation military and commercial communication systems
  • Robust and reliable with extremely low power consumption; prevents overcharge and improves safety

Transparent Thin Film Transistor for Flexible Electronics
IN-14-013, patent applications filed

  • 10 atomic layers thick
  • Maintains performance over a wide range of temperatures
  • On/off ratio is as good as current commercial thin-film transistors

Boron Doped Diamond Nanowire for Sensors
IN-14-016, patent application filed

  • Increased sensitivity to applied strain
  • More environmentally stable than conventional silicon-based piezoresistive sensors

Flat-Panel Transmission X-Ray Source as an Alternative for Medical and Industrial Imaging
IN-14-019, patent application filed

  • Prototype based on nitrogen incorporated ultrananocrystalline diamond film
  • Emission current densities of the order of 6mA/cm2 could be obtained at electric fields as low as 10 V/lm to 20V/lm

For more information: “Nitrogen incorporated ultrananocrystalline diamond based field emitter array for a flat-panel X-ray source,” Journal of Applied Physics 115, 134506 (2014); doi: 10.1063/1.4870928

Preparation of Carbon-Based Electrodes with High Thermal Conductivity for Battery Applications
IN-13-078, patent applications filed

  • Unique combination of diamond nanoparticles and other carbon materials
  • Improves the ability to remove heat from the battery system

Graphene Layer Formation at Low Temperature on a Metal and Carbon-based Substrate
IN-11-055, IN-11-055B, IN-11-055C, IN-12-024, 8,906,772, 8652946, additional patents filed

  • Heat dissipation is substantially reduced
  • Order of magnitude increase in breakdown current density reaching up to one thousand times improvement over conventional metal based interconnects

For more information: USTPO 8906772 and USPTO: 865296

Nitrogen Incorporated Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Contacts for Diamond Electronic Devices
IN-14-009, IN-14-008, patent application filed

  • Excellent chemical, mechanical and electrical properties, low intrinsic stress gradient
  • Could be applicable in many fields, including bio-medicine, optics, and sensors and actuators for space applications

For more information: "Electrically conducting ultrananocrystalline diamond for the development of a next generation of micro-actuators,” Sensors and Actuators A 214, 259-260 (2014)

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To learn about the many ways you can partner/collaborate with Argonne, contact us at or (800) 627-2596.