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Reasons for success and lessons learnt from nanoscale vaccines against COVID-19

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Nature Nanotechnology, Published online: 11 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41565-021-00946-9

Almost all currently used vaccines against COVID-19 consist of either non-viral or viral nanoparticles. Here we attempt to understand the reasons behind the success of such advanced nanoscale vaccine technologies compared with clinically established conventional vaccines, and the lessons to be learnt from this potentially transformative development in the adoption and acceptance of nanotechnology for medicine.
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Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-021-00946-9

Nano Technology

NSCore, Inc. introduces its OTP+ solution to address the IoT market…

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Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) technology is a critical component of the IoT chips built in advanced technologies like 40nm. The NSCore OTP+, One-Time-Programmable Plus, NVM has the unique feature of being able to be re-programmed to address the potential changes in software late in the product development process. A standard OTP IP solution cannot be modified or re-programmed after the chip fabrication has been completed, while the NSCore OTP+ can. This feature can minimize the need to re-spin the fabrication of an IoT chip, which is critical in this new emerging market.

NSCore is using its patented bit-cell structure, “P-Channel Schottky Cell”, for this NVM solution. It requires NO additional processing steps and has a low power performance of 1uA/MHz. The NSCore OTP+ is also small is size, the area of a 1K x 39b (32b + ECC) is 0.082mm2, which is very small for the 40nm processing node. One of the targeted markets for this IP is Energy Harvesting Chips working in the 2.4 GHz Bluetooth Band for IoT applications.

NSCore’s 30+ patents, and its ability to build NVM IP solutions without any additional layers in a standard digital process, enables it to provide this unique solution in the 40nm technology node, for low-cost applications in the IoT market.

“Wiliot selected the OTP+ solution from NSCore due to the extremely low-power operations and the small footprint. Those features are critical for the ultra-low power energy harvesting products of Wiliot” said Yaron Elboim Wiliot VP of R&D.

About NSCore:
Founded in 2004, NSCore is an IP provider specializing in the field of non-volatile memory technology. NSCore has developed a non-volatile memory core which can be implemented in standard CMOS platforms with excellent process portability, high yield and high reliability. NSCore provides a complete matrix of macros (bit counts), specific design parameters for each, foundry proven yield and reliability data, and finally multiple licensing options to fit the customer’s needs. The result is a non-volatile memory IP that is ready for integration into the end user’s product. Visit http://www.nscore.com for more information.

About Wiliot:

Wiliot is the first Sensing as a Service company, whose cloud platform connects the digital and physical worlds using its IoT Pixel tagging technology – computers the size of a postage stamp – that power themselves in revolutionary ways. Our vision is to expand the Internet of things to include trillions of everyday products, adding connected intelligence to everything from plastic crates, to pharmaceuticals, packaging, clothes, and so much more. By connecting them to the internet, at every stage, we will change the way products are made, distributed, sold, used, reused, and recycled. http://www.wiliot.com

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/nscore_inc_introduces_its_otp_solution_to_address_the_iot_market_need_for_an_ultra_low_power_otp_nvm_ip_solution_in_40nm/prweb18268421.htm

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Nanoramic Secures Fortistar Investment to Transform Electric Vehicle…

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News Image

Eric Kish, CEO of Nanoramic, said, “Our Neocarbonix electrode technology is set to transform the future characteristics of Li-ion energy storage, providing rapid scalability thanks to its compatibility with existing battery designs…”

Nanoramic®, an industry-leading energy storage and advanced materials company, today announced that it has received a substantial investment from Fortistar, a privately-owned investment firm that provides capital to build, grow, and manage companies that address complex sustainability challenges. Nanoramic has raised over $75 million to date, a sum that will enable the company to further develop and commercialize Neocarbonix™, its innovative nanocarbon electrode technology.

Neocarbonix will transform energy storage for electric vehicles (EVs): substantially increasing energy density by 30% relative to current best-in-class batteries, while simultaneously reducing cost of production by 20%. Neocarbonix also enables lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries to be charged in less than 15 minutes.

Neocarbonix eliminates the need for toxic solvents, such as NMP, during battery manufacturing and battery recycling. Its manufacturing process is simple and low-cost, utilizing existing equipment and serving as a drop-in replacement for existing battery designs. Li-ion cells containing Neocarbonix at their core comfortably surpass standard automotive battery cycling requirements, thereby extending their lifetime.

“Nanoramic’s technologies play a critical role in delivering sustainable energy storage solutions,” said Mark Comora, President of Fortistar. “We are privileged to invest in a company with such broad-reaching technologies that improve the performance and reduce the environmental impact of energy storage, whether it’s in an electric vehicle, power tool, or a nation-wide power grid. Nanoramic will be a leader in delivering advanced energy storage solutions for a cleaner future.”

As a part of the Fortistar investment, Nanoramic will add Chuck Bryceland to the company’s board of directors. Bryceland is managing director at Fortistar and brings over 30 years of financial services experience.

Eric Kish, CEO of Nanoramic, said, “Our Neocarbonix electrode technology is set to transform the future characteristics of Li-ion energy storage, providing rapid scalability thanks to its compatibility with existing battery designs. Looking even further ahead, Neocarbonix will also provide similar advantages for the next generation of solid-state batteries.”

Neocarbonix electrodes are produced using a low-cost process utilizing an advanced 3-D nanocarbon binding structure. Battery and supercapacitor manufacturers can use Neocarbonix to optimize their production processes, reduce cost, and deliver products that perform exceptionally well in an extremely broad range of environments.

Following years of research in energy storage nanotechnology, which was initially funded by NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense, Nanoramic maintains several major licensing agreements that will help scale production of their technologies to a global level. Nanoramic is currently working with the world’s leading manufacturers of batteries, automobiles, electronics, and other industries to develop and license user-specific versions of its battery and supercapacitor technologies. Once these customers adopt Nanoramic’s technologies, the company is expected to rapidly become one of the world’s largest providers of battery technologies.

About Nanoramic

Nanoramic® Laboratories is an industry-leading energy storage and advanced materials company that has developed an innovative electrode technology, Neocarbonix. Nanoramic is commercializing this technology to transform energy storage for electric vehicles: increasing energy density and longevity, while reducing costs. Founded in 2009 out of MIT, Nanoramic is the exclusive designer, manufacturer, and licenser of Neocarbonix™ electrodes, Fastcap® Ultracapacitors, and Thermexit™ thermal interface gap filler pads. See http://www.nanoramic.com and follow the company on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nanoramic/

About Fortistar

Founded in 1993, Fortistar is a privately-owned investment firm that provides capital to build, grow and manage companies that address complex sustainability challenges. Fortistar utilizes its capital, flexibility and operating expertise to grow high-performing assets, first in independent power projects and now into other areas that support decarbonization. As a team, Fortistar has led financings raising over $3.5 billion in capital for companies and projects in the energy, transportation and industrial sectors. For more information about Fortistar or its portfolio companies, please visit: http://www.fortistar.com and follow the company on LinkedIn.

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/nanoramic_secures_fortistar_investment_to_transform_electric_vehicle_battery_technology/prweb18201318.htm

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Nano Technology

Iron-Flow Battery Technology Breakthrough Could Displace Lithium Batteries as ‘Top Choice’ for Renewable Energy Storage

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iron-flow-batteries 2

Iron-flow technology from ESS is being deployed at scale in the U.S.

The world’s electric grids are creaking under the pressure of volatile fossil-fuel prices and the imperative of weaning the world off polluting energy sources. A solution may be at hand, thanks to an innovative battery that’s a cheaper alternative to lithium-ion technology.

SB Energy Corp., a U.S. renewable-energy firm that’s an arm of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., is making a record purchase of the batteries manufactured by ESS Inc. The Oregon company says it has new technology that can store renewable energy for longer and help overcome some of the reliability problems that have caused blackouts in California and record-high energy prices in Europe.

Battery Breakthrough May Help End Globe’s Grid Failures
ESS batteries Photographer: Tojo Andrianarivo/Bloomberg

The units, which rely on something called “iron-flow chemistry,” will be used in utility-scale solar projects dotted across the U.S., allowing those power plants to provide electricity for hours after the sun sets. SB Energy will buy enough batteries over the next five years to power 50,000 American homes for a day.

“Long-duration energy storage, like this iron-flow battery, are key to adding more renewables to the grid,” said Venkat Viswanathan, a battery expert and associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Battery Breakthrough May Help End Globe’s Grid Failures
Founder: Craig Evans: Credit: Tojo Andrianarivo/Bloomberg

ESS was founded in 2011 by Craig Evans, now president, and Julia Song, the chief technology officer. They recognized that while lithium-ion batteries will play a key role in electrification of transport, longer duration grid-scale energy storage needed a different battery. That’s because while the price of lithium-ion batteries has declined 90% over the last decade, their ingredients, which sometimes include expensive metals such as cobalt and nickel, limit how low the price can fall.

The deal for 2 gigawatt-hours of batteries is worth at least $300 million, according to ESS. Rich Hossfeld, chief executive officer of SB Energy, said the genius of the units lies in their simplicity.

Battery Breakthrough May Help End Globe’s Grid Failures
Julia Song: Credit: Tojo Andrianarivo/Bloomberg

“The battery is made of iron salt and water,” said Hossfeld. “Unlike lithium-ion batteries, iron flow batteries are really cheap to manufacture.”

Every battery has four components: two electrodes between which charged particles shuffle as the battery is charged and discharged, electrolyte that allows the particles to flow smoothly and a separator that prevents the two electrodes from forming a short circuit.

Flow batteries, however, look nothing like the battery inside smartphones or electric cars. That’s because the electrolyte needs to be physically moved using pumps as the battery charges or discharges. That makes these batteries large, with ESS’s main product sold inside a shipping container.

What they take up in space, they can make up in cost. Lithium-ion batteries for grid-scale storage can cost as much as $350 per kilowatt-hour. But ESS says its battery could cost $200 per kWh or less by 2025.

Crucially, adding storage capacity to cover longer interruptions at a solar or wind plant may not require purchasing an entirely new battery. Flow batteries require only extra electrolyte, which in ESS’s case can cost as little as $20 per kilowatt hour.

“This is a big, big deal,” said Eric Toone, science lead at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which has invested in ESS. “We’ve been talking about flow batteries forever and ever and now it’s actually happening.”

Battery Breakthrough May Help End Globe’s Grid Failures
A worker at the ESS facility in Wilsonville, OR Credit: Tojo Andrianarivo/Bloomberg

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration built a flow battery as early as 1980. Because these batteries used water, they presented a much safer option for space applications than lithium-ion batteries developed around that time, which were infamous for catching on fire. Hossfeld says he’s been able to get permits for ESS batteries, even in wildfire-prone California, that wouldn’t have been given to lithium-ion versions.

Still, there was a problem with iron flow batteries. During charging, the battery can produce a small amount of hydrogen, which is a symptom of reactions that, left unchecked, shorten the battery’s life. ESS’s main innovation, said Song, was a way of keeping any hydrogen produced within the system and thus hugely extending its life.

“As soon as you close the loop on hydrogen, you suddenly turn a lab prototype into a commercially viable battery option,” said Viswanathan. ESS’s iron-flow battery can endure more than 20 years of daily use without losing much performance, said Hossfeld.

Battery Breakthrough May Help End Globe’s Grid Failures
Plastic sheets are treated with plasma at the ESS manufacturing facility in Wilsonville, OR
Credit: Tojo Andrianarivo/Bloomberg

At the company’s factory near Portland, yellow robots cover plastic sheets with chemicals and glue them together to form the battery cores. Inside the shipping containers, vats full of electrolyte feed into each electrode through pumps — allowing the battery to do its job of absorbing renewable power when the sun shines and releasing it when it gets dark.

It’s a promising first step. ESS’s battery is a cheap solution that can currently provide about 12 hours of storage, but utilities will eventually need batteries that can last much longer as more renewables are added to the grid. Earlier this month, for example, the lack of storage contributed to a record spike in power prices across the U.K. when wind speeds remained low for weeks. Startups such as Form Energy Inc. are also using iron, an abundant and cheap material, to build newer forms of batteries that could beat ESS on price.

So far, ESS has commercially deployed 8 megawatt-hours of iron flow batteries. Last week, after a six-month evaluation, Spanish utility Enel Green Power SpA signed a single deal for ESS to build an equivalent amount. SB Energy’s Hossfeld, who also sits on ESS’s board, said the company would likely buy still more battery capacity from ESS in the next five years.

Even as its order books fill up, ESS faces a challenging road ahead. Bringing new batteries to market is notoriously difficult and the sector is littered with failed startups. Crucially, lithium-ion technology got a head start and customers are more familiar with its pros and cons. ESS will have to prove that its batteries can meet the rigorous demands of power plant operators.

The new order should help ESS as it looks to go public within weeks through a special-purpose acquisition company at a valuation of $1.07 billion. The listing will net the company $465 million, which it plans to use to scale up its operations.

Contributions by Tom Metcalf

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Source: https://genesisnanotech.wordpress.com/2021/10/06/iron-flow-battery-technology-breakthrough-could-displace-lithium-batteries-as-top-choice-for-renewable-energy-storage/

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Powercast Wins 2021 Best of Sensors Award

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Powercast wins 2021 Best of Sensors Award

Powercast’s John Macho received Best of Sensors 2021 Award at Sensors Converge, Sept. 23, for Powercast’s wirelessly-powered RFID Temperature Scanning System in COVID-19 category

Our wirelessly-powered RFID Temperature Scanning System showcases the benefits, future opportunities and real-world practical applications of wireless power. Charles Greene, Powercast

Powercast, the established leader in RF wireless power, today announced that its wirelessly-powered RFID Temperature Scanning System won the 2021 Best of Sensors Award in the program’s COVID-19 category. Powercast’s touch-free system enables businesses to easily and safely monitor employees’ temperatures before entering their offices. The Best of Sensors Awards highlight cutting-edge achievements that are moving the sensors industry forward. Powercast’s John Macho, Engineering Product Manager, was on hand to receive the award at the awards ceremony on Thursday, September 23 during Sensors Converge in San Jose, CA.

The Temperature Scanning System is comprised of a wirelessly-powered temperature-scanning fob for each employee, an RFID reader, and a TV monitor. Employees receive a fob small enough to fit onto their keychain that is personalized to them. The fob quickly charges when held near an RFID reader at the entrance to the business using Powercast’s patented power harvesting technology. In this touch-free system, employees scan their own forehead using the fob to read their temperature, and are permitted to enter or are denied entry based on the reading, which automatically appears on the monitor.

“We are honored receive this award, which recognizes our system for its value in helping businesses operate safely as COVID-19 continues to create challenges,” said Charles Greene, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technical Officer of Powercast. “Our system showcases the many benefits, future opportunities, and real-world practical applications of wireless power.”

Powercast’s technology touches millions of users across 15+ industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, IoT, entertainment, retail, RFID, and sensors. The company’s collaborative approach and expertise in all aspects of product design, from vision through prototyping and commercialization, has resulted in dozens of applications and millions of units shipped.

“The goal of our program is to honor and promote wide recognition of the sensors industry’s most transformative technologies and teams,” noted Charlene Soucy, Senior Director, Sensors Converge. “Congratulations to Powercast for its innovation addressing the current COVID-19 business environment.”

The judges for the Best of Sensors awards were Jack Gold, J. Gold Associates, LLC; Roger Grace, Roger Grace Associates; Matt Hamblen, Fierce Electronics; Catherine Liao, Blumio; and Brian Zahnstecher, PowerRox.

About Powercast

Powercast is the established leader in RF wireless power. Since its founding in 2003, Powercast has led the industry in RF wireless power innovations and applications that meet FCC and other global standards. Powercast’s wireless power technologies eliminate or reduce the need for wires and batteries, working at distances up to 80 feet. With millions of units shipped, Powercast is led by a team with deep expertise in design, engineering, and prototyping, and with extensive commercial success in both industrial and consumer applications. With more than 100 customers and partner companies around the world, Powercast leads the RF wireless power market with 63 early and fundamental patents worldwide and 34 patents pending. For more information, visit http://www.powercastco.com.

About Sensors Converge

For 36 years Sensors Expo & Conference has brought together the design engineering community to network, share ideas, and define the future roadmap for the sensors industry. In 2021, we’re excited to curate a live, in-person experience called Sensors Converge, where the industry can come together, safely, to collaborate and conduct business. Sensors Converge is part of the Fierce Technology Group, a division of Questex, which also produces the Best of Sensors Awards, Fierce Sensors, and daily content and newsletters on Fierce Electronics at http://www.fierceelectronics.com.

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/powercast_wins_2021_best_of_sensors_award/prweb18223880.htm

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