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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued a patent (US 8,110,173) disclosing a new and simple method for fabrication of nickel oxide nanopowders invented by a group of Iranian researchers.
"So far, I have patented two inventions concerning the production of nickel oxide nanopowders both in Iran and the US in joint collaborations with my colleagues. The first one involves the utilization of aqueous phases while the other one is based on organic phases," Dr. Seyed Khatibol Eslam Sadrnejad, one of the inventors who is an MIT PhD graduate in Materials Science and Engineering (class of 1978), explained to the News Service of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC).
"In the current research, we were mainly after a novel, simple and inexpensive alternative method of synthesis of such metal oxide nanopowders," he added.
"Being based on the known solvothermal technique, our invented production process is straightforward and conveniently handled. In a simplified form, the employed synthesis procedure can be described as follows: A specific salt of nickel is first dissolved in an appropriately selected alcohol and then gradually heated and continually stirred in order to make a precipitation reaction occur. After a sufficient period of time, the yielded participate undergoes filtration, drying and calcinations steps, orderly. The ultimate product is chip-like particles having nanometric dimensions and thanks to their very high specific surface areas, they hold promise for applications in energy storage, electronics, optics, process control and particularly catalysis technology. A distinct advantage of our proposed scheme over the previous methods is in not having to use any surfactants (surface active agents) which are relatively costly compounds."
Summarizing his views regarding the commercialization of the invention, Dr. Sadrnejad said, "Implementation of our proposed NiO nanoparticles fabrication method on large scales seems to be economic for our country and we welcome any offers from investors on the topic."
This research project has been funded by Iran National Science Foundation (INSF) together with the INIC. In addition, the patent registration costs were covered in part by the INIC.
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