Novel Phosphonate/Phosphonic Acid RAFT Agents and Monomer Design


Reference #:  01017

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for this novel use of binding nanomaterials and polymers.

Invention Description:

Polymer coated nanomaterials are useful in many applications, including in LEDs and bioimaging systems. However, the commercial use of nanomaterials is limited by the poor optical and mechanical properties of the composite when the nanomaterial and polymer are blended together. This invention provides for highly transparent and robust nanocomposites using polymers with special anchor points that bind extremely well with the nanomaterial.

Advantages and Benefits:

•    A process that is very amenable to mass production, as the only step is mixing.

•    It is able to maintain optical clarity and attain high refractive index nanocomposites (up to 1.8) that can directly be used in LED encapsulant materials.

•    Dr. Benicewicz’s team is the only academic research group that has access to DuPont’s RAFT patent portfolio to make the polymers.

Potential Applications:

The physical blending of polymers and nanomaterials typically gives opaque films that have poor mechanical properties and are filled with aggregates (clumps of nanomaterials). In LED devices, high refractive index nanomaterials are in high demand, as they would allow more light to be emitted with the same power input.

Nanomaterial functionalization is an exquisite process where particles have to be covered with polymers uniformly and via an easy process for any usage. This process provides a simple and versatile method to functionalize different nanomaterials, including clays, alumina, TiO2, CdSe etc. This process provides several methods of achieving polymer functionalization, including grafting-to, grafting-from and grafting-through techniques.

Additionally, this process eliminates several expensive steps that are currently in use, which would facilitate mass production of such nanocomposites for optical applications. Typically, commercial nanocomposites have refractive indexes from 1.3-1.5. In the research team’s experience, the materials have reached RIs up to 1.8.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Novel Phosphonate and Phosphonic Acid RAFT Agents and Monomers, Along with Methods of Their Manufacture and Use Utility United States 14/484,990 9,359,453 9/12/2014 6/7/2016    
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Brian Benicewicz
Anand Viswanath
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