LONDON Porton Plasma Innovations Ltd. (P2i), a spin-off from the U.K. government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, has closed a round of funding worth 2.625 million (about $4.6 million), the company said.
The funding is a second investment from P2i’s original investor, Porton Capital and the money would be used to move from the south coast to Oxford and roll out commercial plasma processes and equipment, the company said.
P2i’s plasma technology, is based on sponsored research conducted at the University of Durham. The university and Porton Down have developed a cold plasma surface modification technology that can modify the surfaces of products to give them new properties. This can include a water repellency which is three times more effective than the industry benchmark, a coating known as Teflon.
The process enables the deposition of materials in layers only a few molecules thick over the whole surface of a product by means of an ionised gas plasma. This enables the surfaces of the product to be enhanced with a super oil-repellent and water-repellent treatment while leaving the other properties of the product unchanged. The process has numerous applications in textiles and medical applications, but is also applicable to electronics manufacture where it can make many forms of circuitry, interconnection and packaging proof against moisture ingress with almost no additional weight. Applications are expected from the circuit board level through to industrial instrumentation, hearing aids, mobile phones and laptop computers.
“There has been huge interest in our ability to apply nano-scale surface enhancements to a wide range of products in the biomedical, industrial and textile industries. We had licensees with the first P2i-enhanced products in the market within six months of start-up and are collaborating with a number of major global companies to launch new products in the next sex months,” said Quentin Compton-Bishop, chief executive officer of P2i, in a statement.