We encounter electrostatic charge in our daily lives. It is not uncommon to see the phenomena of hair standing up or the feeling of being shocked at times when we touch or rub against a material. In our laboratory, we have successfully found a solution to create a non-charging surface by co-polymerizing two types of materials. 1
The technology could potentially be applied in different areas including non-stick packaging for electronics chips or specialized powder storage tubes. These designs help to minimize wastage, lower production time and enhance yield.
Electronics chips packaging
The figure on the left consists of tape without coating while the figure on the right uses tape with our unique coating. The successful elimination of the sticking and jumping of chips with our non-charging technology has opened a new opportunity to electronic industries. By reducing packaging time, these industries could save 1 million annually per production facility.
From our interviews, we realized that almost all peptide powders have static charge issues. The presence of static charge in powders cause sticking of powders to either the storage tube or the storage cap. As a consequence, powders such as enzymes, peptides, vancomycin or other lyophilized proteins are lost and wasted. Reducing this loss is crucial especially for powders that are expensive. Among protein powders that are costly include Casein kinase ($2700/mg) or bone morphogenetic powder ($73000/mg)
To solve this problem, we coated our non-charging polymer on the surface of the storage tube. The figure below has shown that our technology has successfully eliminated formation of static charge on the surface if the tube. The amount of powder adhering to the wall of the tube has significantly decreased as compared to the tube without coating.
The list of applications using our unique material is non-exhaustive and thus our technology could potentially be expanded into wide variety of sectors for both scientific justification and for commercial interest.
The technology has been patented under the US PRC No. of 62/230, 507
- Zhang, X.; Huang, X.; Kwok, S. W.; Soh, S.* Designing Non-charging Surfaces from Non-conductive Polymers. Advanced Materials 2016, 28, 3024-3029.