Keynote Presentation: PARTICLE ALD [PALD]
A Material Science Revolution
CEO of Forge Nano
0:00:01 Hi, everybody. I'm Paul. Lichty I'm the founder and CEO Forge a Nano. Happy to be talking to you today 0:00:07 about particle atomic layer deposition. Um, I first off want to thank everybody for your 0:00:12 participation. We had no idea what type of interest we would get when we started putting this thing 0:00:17 together on We're just really pleased with the turnout, um, and the great group of speakers sponsors 0:00:25 on attendees that we have. So we really appreciate everybody joining us for this first of its kind 0:00:31 event on. We're very excited about what kind of progress we can make in educating people about the 0:00:38 field of particle atomic layer deposition. For my part, I wanted to discuss more of the Why not so 0:00:44 much the specifics on how or what we're doing here with PLD. But what motivates us why we decided to 0:00:52 get into this field? I plan on discussing a little bit about how amazing LD is and exploring the 0:00:59 advantages of the full tool kit that's available to us, including the unique advantages for 0:01:03 particles on. Then discuss a little bit about where we can go with what is essentially a revolution 0:01:09 in material science for me personally. When I attended grad school, I had an interest in helping 0:01:17 expand and improve renewable energies on that was my main motivation is trying to solve a very large 0:01:24 global problem. And I found myself in Professor Alzheimer's laboratory at the University of Colorado. 0:01:30 And there we focused on solar thermal hydrogen generation, and so that utilized on array of mirrors 0:01:36 to concentrate solar energy to drive high temperature chemical reactions and the specific materials 0:01:42 that we explored all had to do with hydrogen generation. For my project, we had to get specific 0:01:50 chemical store ikeyama trees onto a substrate that could withstand high temperatures. Thermal shock 0:01:56 on would speed along the kinetics of a gas phase reaction. So what we ended up doing was looking at 0:02:04 creating our mixed metal oxides on the surface of a substrate that had kind of the bulk performance 0:02:10 properties we were looking for. And we use the ailed de to achieve this in the lab on, we created a 0:02:16 whole host of different materials through not only a be cycling, but the integration of mixed metals 0:02:24 and then calc nation into a surface coating that would achieve the properties we want and through 0:02:30 this work, that's where I really understood and learned about the power of atomic layer deposition. 0:02:38 By creating chemical bonds with the service, you get a robust interaction. The coatings go down 0:02:44 pinhole free. You have absolute thickness control. You can't get better than Adam by Adam Control on 0:02:50 And then you can create these surface chemistries that are customized to your particular solution. 0:02:55 It really is a process that is an absolute necessity for the researcher. And when we look at most 0:03:07 chemical reactions and processes, it's important. Understand that the surface plays such a huge role 0:03:14 in dictating the different behaviors. And so by tuning that surface, we can really tune the material 0:03:20 behaviour on. It opens up opportunities to maintain bull properties and customize surface 0:03:26 interactions. And across the board, we believe that that creates stronger performance in higher 0:03:32 efficiencies. One of the really powerful aspects of ale de is just this ever expanding tool kit. Um, 0:03:40 the creation of different precursors and different processes to fine tune the surface coatings just 0:03:48 has exploded in the last decade, and the ability now for us to look at base different based 0:03:55 materials, oxide, nitride, soul finds etcetera. The advent of M. L D processes so that we can put 0:04:04 organics and then do different types of cycling or multi layers is just so powerful. This is this is 0:04:13 probably the most important aspect of how what what needs to be conveyed to the average customer is 0:04:21 just We have a tool kid that is unparalleled. There are infinite combinations of surface solutions 0:04:27 that we can provide. Um, and it's ever growing new processes such as atomic layer EPA taxi, where 0:04:34 you could do layer removal. And in some of the investigations into specific patterning on surfaces. 0:04:43 It just creates an entirely new world of capabilities and its applicability to almost every 0:04:51 substrate imaginable. When we look at particle systems, ale de is a no brainer. Most of these 0:04:58 systems are dictated by interactions particle to particle interactions that all occur at the surface. 0:05:05 And so, by utilizing a process that has no line of sight issues and can conform, Lee encapsulate the 0:05:12 entire particle that really drives the bulk change in the surface properties that you'd be looking 0:05:19 for. It's a gas phase process so you can get into all of the pores on all of the kind of nooks and 0:05:25 crannies on particle and create a robust bonded surface on and then through various processes, you 0:05:32 can avoid agglomeration. So, really, in the world of particle material science and particle systems, 0:05:40 ale de is just a obvious obvious choice for fine tuning those systems to get the performance that 0:05:48 you're looking for. So after developing my project with water splitting and really understanding the 0:05:56 power of atomic layer deposition, the robust tool kit that's available and the application into 0:06:04 particle systems, it was very obvious that this was a technology that needed to be introduced in a 0:06:10 much larger scale because the application space for fine tuning surface properties, whether it's 0:06:17 corrosion, resistance, whether it's viscosity, is just massive, and the number of particle systems 0:06:24 where there are real materials challenges that need to be overcome in order to provide, provide 0:06:30 solutions to or to solve larger global problems is just something that really got me motivated. T go 0:06:39 and tackle and here it fortune Anna. We focus on things such as energy storage. Ca Tallis is 0:06:45 filtration, looking at better batteries, better chemical processes, cleaner water, etcetera and a 0:06:53 whole host of different applications, and this is what, what really motivated my internal belief 0:06:59 that this technology needed to be pushed out into the marketplace. It needed to be adopted globally. 0:07:05 If we look at the history of lt, you know, the main challenges towards adoption is one that's not 0:07:11 new to most laboratory innovations, and that is one of scale. The main barrier for commercialization 0:07:19 in most cases is the scalability off the processes, and a lot of technologies have died on the vine 0:07:26 really do to that challenge. And so after um, going through all of our investigation after looking 0:07:34 at all of the opportunity, we decided that scalability was the biggest challenge. And that's what we 0:07:39 put our minds to in terms of being able to find a scalable process that could make pld viable at 0:07:48 scale and affordable. Because as you get to a larger and larger scale, you get closer and closer to 0:07:53 commodity materials where no matter how good the solution is, there always has to be a affordability 0:08:01 and price component. And so that's why we developed a commercial system by really applying basic 0:08:07 engineering principles to a complex, step by step process. And that was kind of the main innovation 0:08:14 in the nexus for forming Forge Nano. So after we developed a process, we build prototypes actually 0:08:24 in my garage. So this is truly a garage start up on By repeated attempts at optimizing and testing 0:08:34 and discovering what worked and didn't work. We were able to get a robust process that allowed us to 0:08:41 then build a company around, and we slowly started with SP I. Ours and Phase two's number of 0:08:49 development partners came on board to help us investigate and find solutions to different materials 0:08:56 challenges. And we continue to grow both our know how and our capabilities at size and scale on this 0:09:05 culminated last year with the merger that were announced between Forge Nano and Haledon Anil 0:09:10 Solutions, which just brings together what I think is the world's leading experts in particle A lt 0:09:17 applications solutions and systems. And this is what um really has me excited about this conference 0:09:27 is we are at a stage in our company evolution where we have we have definitive solutions we have 0:09:36 commercial capabilities on. We're really kind of off to the races in developing this into, uh, that 0:09:45 worldwide revolutionary product material science innovation with our combined companies, we are a 0:09:54 truly an end in nano material solution provider. We're moving into our new 40,000 square foot 0:10:01 headquarters here in Thornton, which which will be helpful for the entire team to be in one spot or 0:10:07 during this pandemic. Portions of the team being in one spot at any given time on built up the team 0:10:15 to a robust 40 employees. Right now, with a heavy emphasis on scientists, engineers, technical 0:10:23 experts, we focus right now on materials development, often times with our partners, and told 0:10:32 coating for commercial applications and systems sales, taking you all the way from basic R and D two 0:10:39 world scale production. We have the world's largest PLT coding capabilities in house right now on 0:10:46 the whole team. That's really motivated to be the leaders in materials innovations with our combined 0:10:54 team and are no new resource is we've been able to focus in and start tackling a lot of these global 0:11:01 problems. And one of the ones that Forge Nano has been focusing on for a number of years is in the 0:11:07 battery space where atomic layer deposition on the particles can lead to um longer range faster, 0:11:14 charge times safer and lower cost batteries. And that's very important to all of us that were able 0:11:22 to make an impact in this specific field. Because we all want to see the electrification of our 0:11:27 transportation system on the enabling of some of the more intermittent renewable energy sources that 0:11:36 require this type of energy storage. And by addressing the key material problems in the key 0:11:42 degradation mechanisms within these battery systems, we've been able to create huge amounts of 0:11:48 improvement. And just like everything else, I think we're still scratching the surface. What these 0:11:54 improvements are are a great first step, and we see this being applicability to creating a battery 0:12:02 that truly might last a lifetime. When we look at cells that we that have materials that we've 0:12:09 coated and we take him apart and reanalyze them, we found that it's very feasible to refresh the 0:12:16 materials by simple, real iffy ation. Um, not only does that unlock a great recycling pathway, but 0:12:23 for us it it illustrates, um, the impact of what we're doing in a complex system like a battery. 0:12:30 There are lots of things that are going on lots of side reaction lots of ways that the battery is 0:12:35 failing and by being able to take that material after the entire cell has failed. And real, if he 0:12:43 ate it allows us to identify that lithium, um in availability over the lifetime of the battery is 0:12:49 the main problem, which is not a cathode material problem. This lithium is getting hung up somewhere 0:12:54 else within the battery. And so that starts creating a roadmap for us to solve the different 0:12:59 material challenges within that battery system and the battery architecture to take advantage of the 0:13:06 performance improvements that we've been able to provide. And that's what gives us hope that we can 0:13:10 get to, ah, battery system that, you know, forget a 1,000,000 mile battery. We're looking for a 0:13:15 lifetime battery. We're looking for an energy storage solution that gin can solve and provide value 0:13:25 across multiple fronts. When we look at some of the progress that we've been able to make in the CA, 0:13:31 Tallis is space. It really does represent one of the more interesting opportunities just because of 0:13:38 the sheer amount of nano engineering that we can apply to these systems. So not only can nail the be 0:13:45 used to deposit very discreet particles in a very dispersed manner for active catalytic materials. 0:13:57 But we can then look at under coatings of the substrate to prevent corrosion. We can look out over 0:14:02 coatings to improve selectivity on dim prove regeneration. These are all things that we've been able 0:14:09 to show dramatic improvements for and really again, just like batteries were just scratching the 0:14:15 surface in terms of what is possible with some of the new capabilities out there were interested in 0:14:21 looking at trying metallic by metallic systems that can potentially replace precious metals or 0:14:29 creating robust enough catalyst systems where three efficiencies are improved and the overall costs 0:14:36 are reduced for driving a lot of the chemical products that we make today in the field of three D 0:14:42 printing, there's a great promise for what three D printing can effect in terms of efficiency on 0:14:49 demand, manufacturing and reduce costs. We see A L. D is a key component in enabling some of that to 0:14:57 become come riel, either through coating the materials and creating oxidation resistance, adding 0:15:05 centering aids or centering inhibitors so that your crystal structure can be highly tuned, or that 0:15:12 the strength and the overall performance of your part can be tuned really, at the atomic level of 0:15:19 what you're trying to create. Not only can we introduced new alloy improved absorb activity of 0:15:26 different materials, but we can improve the flow ability of the powders in those systems which can 0:15:32 enable improved in mawr efficient processing systems. So with power of PLD, I do believe that we're 0:15:42 entering into a new kind of manufacturing revolution in the way that we develop and create materials 0:15:52 is going to be fundamentally changed things to particle atomic clear deposition. And with this 0:15:57 expanding tool, kid, I think for the next century we will be developing and optimizing material to 0:16:05 get higher performance and better efficiency. And because of how dynamic and all of the resource is 0:16:11 and tools available in in this pl the ecosystem, rarely do we find a problem that we can't envision 0:16:18 a solution for. You know, the challenges from a material side, I believe, can largely be solved, and 0:16:26 then what we, as as AH company, have to solve and as researchers, what we have to solve really has 0:16:34 to deal with making those solutions scalable and economical. We're passionate about tackling all 0:16:43 these large material challenges, and we think we can. We can make a significant improvement in some 0:16:49 of the big ones some of the ones that our generation will hopefully be remember for, such as 0:16:54 improvements in fusion, energy, medicine, electron ICS and space travel. You know, these are kind of 0:17:01 some of the key areas that get me excited about what we're doing and hopefully can create large and 0:17:10 in dramatic benefits to society as a whole. 0:17:16 Our mission really is to educate, just as every other start up with a new technology has a challenge 0:17:23 of educating the market, educating their customers about what the capabilities are, what the uses 0:17:28 are because of just the broad broad. And I think large impact that PLD can have. Education is 0:17:39 absolutely critical for us on. So we look to, um, have these types of interactions with you on our 0:17:47 customers and researchers within the community. We know that innovation is going to be something 0:17:54 that comes through. I think, very close collaboration across a number of different application 0:18:03 spaces. We can not be experts and everything, and so we look to our collaborators are partners on 0:18:11 and even our competitors out there to help advance the science, Uh, and really focus in on solving 0:18:18 these large global problems because at the end of the day, that's that's what motivates us, uh, and 0:18:25 gets us out of bed. It's focusing on solving some of these large societal problems that we think 0:18:31 material science and PLD is well suited for. So thank you all for your attention. Thank you for your 0:18:37 attendance at this summit. I'm looking forward to all of the great talks throughout the day on. 0:18:43 Please reach out to me and the team here it forged Nano.