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University of Houston launches first nanotech company
Date:9/3/2013

HOUSTON, Sept. 3, 2013 Out of the test-tube, onto your jeans? How about your patio deck?

A researcher from the University of Houston has turned his nanotechnology research into reality, launching a nanotech manufacturing company in the University's Energy Research Park.

C-Voltaics will manufacture the coatings, designed to protect fabric, wood, glass and a variety of other products from water, stains, dust and other environmental hazards.

"After you wash your jeans, the color starts to fade. It means you can keep your jeans looking better, longer," Seamus "Shay" Curran, director of UH's Institute for NanoEnergy, said. "Or you might have a very nice white blouse, but the minute you get ketchup or wine on it, you know you're going to have to throw it out. You're not going to have to throw things away because of fading or stains."

The coatings, technically known as self-cleaning hydrophobic nano-coatings, are designed to repel the elements. Curran said they will be competitively priced.

"If you want to have a successful business, it's got to be better and cheaper," he said. "Consumers aren't going to pay for it if it's not."

UH is a shareholder in C-Voltaics, which Chief Energy Officer Ramanan Krishnamoorti said is the first nanotechnology company to be spun off from the University.

Curran developed the coatings in conjunction with his work on portable, solar-powered generators. Solar panels work most efficiently if their surfaces are clean, and the coating acts as a protective barrier against dust, pollen, water and other pollutants.

His solar-powered generator, known as the Storm Cell, also is licensed to C-Voltaics, but Curran said the company will first focus on producing the coatings.

The coatings are slightly different chemically for each type of material to be treated, although Curran said the base chemistry is the same. They will be produced at the Energy Research Park,
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Contact: Jeannie Kever
jekever@uh.edu
713-743-0778
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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