LONDON – Stanford University spin-out company C3Nano Inc. has raised $3.2 million in a Series-A round of financing to help it bring its carbon nanotube (CNT) based transparent electrode ink and film to market.
The material holds promise as a replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO), the material most commonly used for transparent electronics. C3Nano's proprietary hybrid material is suitable for use in touch screens, OLED devices, photovoltaic solar panels and flexible displays, the company said, where is should bring the advantages of less weight, lower cost and sustainability.
C3Nano (Hayward, Calif.), a company that has developed from Professor Zhenan Bao’s chemical engineering lab at Stanford University, raised its money from GSR Ventures, which is based in China and Silicon Valley.
The funding will be used to further develop and scale C3Nano's inks and films engage in joint development programs with customers, and establish strategic channel partnerships, the company said.
"For years the display industry has been searching for an alternative to ITO, but everything that came along either underperformed or was too expensive. C3Nano's material delivers a cost-effective, robust, printable, solution-coatable material that enables the industry to move forward without the intrinsic disadvantages and scarcity issues of ITO," said Cliff Morris, chief executive officer of C3Nano, in a statement.
Begun as a project on the fundamentals of CNT conductivity in Professor Bao's laboratory by Melbs LeMieux and Ajay Virkar, C3Nano has developed a novel thin-film transparent electrode. Unlike ITO, which is created using a vacuum sputtering process, C3Nano's material is solution-coated and printable. In addition ITO is brittle and prone to cracking as well as rising in cost due to the scarcity of indium.
C3Nano uses a carbon-based material that is abundantly available, intrinsically lower in cost flexible and transparent.
"GSR is excited to support C3Nano in the development of global partnerships, especially in mainland China, Taiwan, and Asia, where many of the leading manufacturers of displays, touch screens, solar, and OLED devices are based," said Kevin Yin, partner at GSR Ventures and a board member at C3Nano.
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