Lab Services

With over 40 years of lab experience, Aculon’s scientists are trained to analyze the surface composition of substrates, determine the appropriate cleaning procedures, and select or screen coatings from our numerous patented treatments. We can target an application process that can be replicated in your facilities, and in many cases test against performance specifications.

Aculon’s Laboratory Services

By taking an analytical approach to surface chemistry, Aculon’s “Accuracy Strategy” improves the probability of you hitting your coating target! By characterizing surfaces, ensuring that surfaces are properly cleaned for treatment, and testing for proper bonding of coating, Aculon’s laboratory services dramatically increase your chances of early success. While many companies are willing throw coating samples to try over the proverbial wall and hope they work, our experience is that you improve the probability of hitting the target if you take a more rigorous analytical approach.

Aculon’s surface scientists are trained to analyze the surface composition of your substrate, determine the appropriate cheaning chemistry to remove any contaminates, and apply solution phase nanocoatings. We target application processes and equipment that can be replicated in your facilities. We have many chemical cleaning agents and methods to prepare substrates for surface chemistry, and a library of hydrophobic, hydrophilic, and other functional coatings and primers to screen for your application. Custom materials can be synthesized and custom formulations can also be developed if needed. Surface coatings can then be tested against the customer’s specifications.

What is typically Included?

– Ensure surfaces are properly cleaned for treatment

– Application of candidate coatings

– Characterize coatings on surfaces, ensure proper bonding

– Evaluate performance of coating

– Report work performed with coating instructions and include a summary of results.

– Ship treated parts and begin to Sample Coating Solution(s)

Why would someone pay for Aculon Lab Services?

1. We are selective – We only take on projects where we think we can succeed. Our primary business is selling chemistry so it is in our best interest to be selective.

2. We are confident– We are surface solution experts who have spent over 12 years and over $15 million dollars being experts at modifying surfaces.

3. We are proven – We have numerous awards for our technologies and have customers that include the likes of Samsung, Intel, Alcoa, Oakley, Volvo.

4. We are capable– We have numerous techniques to characterize surfaces such as IR, contact angle.

5. We are experts – We have years of Surface Preparation knowledge which is one of the keys to good surface treatment. You have to know how to correctly prepare the surface. Numerous times we have found that most people just apply a treatment to a surface without preparing the surface. Our experience in surface prep dramatically increases the probability of success.

6. We give you the guide– You will receive a lab report that outlines what we tested on your samples, what results were received on your samples and what works on your samples. Often other companies will just send you a free sample and expect you to figure it.

7. We offer a valuable service – Our lab is very busy and focused on modifying customer samples so we accept only a limited number of lab cases. You first have to qualify to get a lab service approved which includes us having confidence that we can modify your parts as well as you explaining the business case so we can ensure that at the end of this there is a win-win business arrangement possible.

8. We save you time – Ultimately the lab service is about taking our 100+ years of surface modification expertise, millions of dollars of investments to solve a problem that for you in weeks that you might not be able to solve otherwise or it might cost you months of trials yourself.

Aculon’s repellency, adhesion promoting, and particle treatments are commercially proven on a broad range of materials.
whether your substrate is a type of metal, glass, polymer, ceramic, or semiconductor, there is likely an Aculon technology
that will treat your substrate.

Repellency Treatment Substrate Compatibility

Aculon’s oleophobic and superhydrophobic coating treatments are compatible with the following types of materials:

  • Metals
  • Polymers
  • Glass Ceramics
  • Semiconductors
  • Fabrics
  • Sapphire

Particle Treatment Substrate Compatibility

Aculon’s particle treatments are compatible with the following types of materials:

  • Metals
  • Semiconductors
  • Polymers
  • Many More

Adhesion Promotion Treatment Substrate Compatibility

Aculon’s adhesion promoting treatments are compatible with the following types of materials:

  • Metals
  • Glass Ceramics
  • Polymers
  • Semiconductors
  • Many More

SAMP Technology

Aculon’s proprietary “Self-Assembled Monolayer of Phosphonates” (SAMP) methodology can coat surfaces to impart hydrophobicity, adhesion, or corrosion inhibition. A monolayer is a nanoscale coating that is one molecule thick or 1-4 nanometers in thickness (1nm = 1×10-9 meters). A phosphonate is a phosphorous acid that combines a reactive phosphonic acid or “reactive head group” and a carbon-based tail group connected through a stable phosphorous carbon bond (P-C). The reactive “heads” react with the surface through strong and stable metal phosphorous bonds, and the tails stick out from the surface and are chosen for their chemical functionality (hydrophobic, oleophobic, non-stick, adhesion promotion, etc.).

Organometallics (OM)

Aculon’s proprietary coatings also utilize Organometallics to prime or activate a surface. Broadly speaking, Organometallics are a class of chemical compounds containing a metal center and organic groups coordinated
to the metal center. Aculon discovered a unique set of OMs that than react and insert into substrates such as polymers and metals. The reaction of OMs with surfaces allows for tailoring with non-stick nanoscale repellent or
pro-adhesion “nanoscaleVelcro” coatings.

Other Coatings

Aculon has developed other nanoscale treatments for surface modification. These include polymeric treatments such as epoxies and polydimethylsiloxane (PMDS) functional coatings for their barrier properties. Both PDMS and epoxy treatments can then be further functionalized for repellency or adhesion. Barrier treatments are important for corrosion resistance of metals and substrates for applications such as electronic circuitry.

Hydrophobic/Oleophobic Coating

Aculon’s repellency treatment technology bonds with many different surfaces at the nano-scale to create easy-clean, water resistant, anti-smudge coatings. Aculon specializes in hydrophobic (water repelling) and oleophobic (oil repelling) nano treatments that are easy to apply.

 

Hydrophilic Coatings

Aculon’s hydrophilic coating treatments can bond with many different surfaces at the nano-scale to create extremely water attracting surfaces. Aculon hydrophilic (water attracting) nanoscale treatments are easy to apply require little or no costly capital equipment.

 

Adhesion Promotion Treatments

Aculon’s adhesion promotion can be used on a broad range of materials including metals, metal oxides, polymers, and ceramics. Interfacial treatments with adhesion promoters for dissimilar materials are particularly important for performance and reliability in electronics.

 

Nanoclear® Metal Treatment

Aculon’s NanoClear treatment is the #1 Nanocoating for the Surface mount technology industry. NanoClear is used globally by many of the leading OEMs and CEMs. NanoClear has won several new product awards from leading publications and organizations. Aculon NanoClear®, modifies the surface of the metal to make it both hydrophobic and oleophobic allowing customers to improve print quality, increase efficiency, and lower total costs.

 

Particle Treatment Technology

Aculon’s particle treatments can be used on a broad range of materials used in many different applications including metals, metal oxides, polymers, and ceramics. Excellent for functionalizing the surface of particles and fillers intended foruse in highly specialized applications.

At Aculon, we have access to a full range of testing capabilities to further improve the probability of hitting the target and increase your chances of early success. Aculon offers both basic and enhanced testing capabilities, allowing you to tailor the testing based on your needs and level of detail needed for application. We will work with you to customize the types of testing you need to meet your specifications. Aculon’s testing capabilities include the following:

Basic Testing:

Abrasion (Linear Abrazer):

Determine durability of Repellency Treatment up to 2000
abrasion cycles.

Optical Properties:

Measure the % transmission, clarity, and haze, before and after
the Aculon coating.

Surface Conductivity:

Using a 4-point probe, determine the conductivity of a
substrate.

UV-Vis:

Measures ultraviolet and visible spectrum of liquid or
transparent/semitransparent samples.

Infrared:

Measure infrared spectrum of a surface for composition of the
substrate.

Enhanced Testing (via third party):

Film Thickness:

Determine the average thickness of the Aculon coating in
nanometers.

Surface Analysis with XPS:

Determine the relative elemental composition of the
surface.

Depth Profiling:

Determine the relative elemental composition of the top
100nm of the surface.

AFM:

Atomic force microscopy to determine the surface
morphology of the surface.

SEM:

Scanning electrode microscopy to determine the
nanometer surface morphology of flat surface.