Mineral-based materials and composites such as carbon nanotubes, carbon quantum dots, graphene and other nanomaterials are able to change our industries by allowing us to be more precise and efficient. The development of nanomaterials and composites has resulted in better medical treatments, specialized industrial processes and a more sustainable way of life. SLINTEC specializes in adding value to Sri Lankan mineral resources, and developing products that can be used in field emission, energy storage, structural applications, fibers and fabrics, biomedical applications, air and water filtration and a lot more. We are just scratching the surface of what these type of products can be used for.
Zinc oxide thin-films on surface
Zinc oxide (ZnO) are commonly added to various surfaces including textile and polymer based products to provide properties such as superhydrophobic, self-cleaning, odour removal and UV protection. Other applications are air purification, sensors, electricity generation with dye-sensitized solar cells. Zinc Oxide is also known to have photocatalytic properties and applications.
Titanium-based materials and surfaces
Titanium-based compounds and materials are essential for many products, industries and a broad range of applications. Titanium metal and their alloys are regarded as chemically stable, inert and high strength materials. It is used in structural components in space shuttles, airplanes, biomedical implants, construction materials and so on. Titanium oxide nanoparticles and surfaces are extensively used in surface coatings, catalysts, cosmetics, UV-protective coatings, and creams. They also have applications is the medical field and are used in water splitting to generate hydrogen fuel.
Sustainable packaging to replace polystyrene (Styrofoam)
SLINTEC has engaged with Global Seafoods (Pvt) Ltd. to address the Styrofoam problem by developing a sustainable packaging solution aimed to replace Styrofoam. This research project was commissioned to address environmental issues such as materials efficiency, the source of raw materials, and reuse or recycling of packaging at end of life. A key function of the newly developed packaging solution is to protect and extend the life of packaged products.
Spinnable carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are used to make CNT yarns which are made of millions of individual carbon nanotubes, capable of conducting thermal and electrical energy up to an amazing extent. Some types of nanotubes are able to exhibit superconductivity at extremely low temperatures. The strength of the chemical bonds in carbon nanotubes is believed to make it one of the strongest fibers allowing it to be used in a wide variety of applications and scenarios. An area which we specialize in is using spinnable CNTs to create smart textiles, batteries, etc.
Graphene oxide (GO) is a single-atomic layered material, made by the powerful oxidation of graphite, a cheap and abundant raw material. Graphene oxide is an oxidized form of graphene, with various functional groups containing oxygen, such as epoxide, carbonyl, carboxyl and hydroxyl groups.
Ceylon Graphene Technologies (pvt) Ltd (CGTL) was established in June 2018, as a joint venture of LOLC Group and SLINTEC. CGTL aims to place Sri Lanka in the global market for graphene and associated products.
Reduced Graphene Oxides (rGO)
GO has many exciting properties like mechanical strength, thermal and electrical conductivity, intriguing optical properties and much more. Reduced graphene oxide (rGO), made by removing the oxidized functional groups from Graphene oxide (GO), is suitable for the same sorts of applications as graphene such as energy storage, composite materials, flexible electronics, chemical sensors and more.
Expanded graphites (EG)
Expanded graphite (EG) is obtained by the exfoliation of natural vein graphite. It gets its name from the fact that it expands by up to hundreds of times along the “C” axis, resulting in a puffed-up material with a low density and a high temperature resistance. Expanded graphite is used in applications that include fire retardants, high performance gaskets, conductive fillers, electromagnetic pulse and radiation shielding. It is also used as an adsorbent for gas chromatography and as a substrate for the study of adsorbed films.
The cosmetics industry was among the first to implement nanotechnology and its principles in product development. Almost 13% of all nano-enabled products are classified under cosmetics and nanomaterials have become a common factor in many cosmetic formulations including sunscreens, skin lotions, hair products and soaps.
Nano-exfoliate embedded body wash
Many nano and sub-micron sized materials are known to be efficient exfoliating agents and can be used to improve and tune the cleansing ability of body wash formulations.
Nano-carrier embedded moisturizers
Moisturizers are important to maintain the hydration of the skin. However, often the activity of a moisturizer is not controlled and/or stimulated via external environmental conditions and thus typically does not hold for prolonged durations. Nanoscale materials have been previously reported to be efficient in transporting encapsulated substances. Hence, potential moisturizing agents could be efficiently encapsulated in nano-carriers which will be released under external stimuli, producing a prolonged and efficient hydration to the skin.
Nano-adsorbate embedded soaps
Adsorption capacity and efficacy of many nanomaterials are superior to many bulk counterparts. Hence, nanomaterials included in cosmetic formulations would allow the adsorption of skin borne dust and dirt particles, resulting in a deeper cleansing action. Importantly, the type, size, as well as the surface chemistry of the nano-adsorbates could be utilized in optimizing the effect thereof.
Many cosmetic formulations are present in an emulsion form and notably, the amount of aqueous and non-aqueous materials that go into the emulsion controls the resulting aesthetic properties of the formulation. However, engineering the particle size of the emulsion itself into nano-sized particles, i.e. to create ‘nanoemulsions’, allows the texture of an emulsion to be controlled while being less dependent on the respective aqueous and non-aqueous composition. Additionally, engineering of these materials would also allow efficient dermal uptake of nutrients. This well-known principle has been previously utilized in the food industry in order to produce thick and creamy formulations while employing significantly lower levels of non-aqueous (oil based) material, which in turn is deemed to have important implications in cosmetic formulations.
Aluminium based nanomaterials and alloys
Aluminium materials and alloys are widely used in the construction and automobile industries due to their high strength, stability, resistance and lightweight. Nanomaterials of aluminium based compounds including aluminium oxides have gained great deal of attraction compared to conventional micro- and millimeter sized particles. Alumina is also used as a refractory material and fire-retardant.
Polymer Nanocomposites and coatings
Polymer nanocomposites are multiphase materials developed to enhance the physical and chemical properties of polymers. SLINTEC undertakes research in reinforcing thermoplastic and elastomeric polymers by incorporating different types of nano-fillers. High strength, flame retardant, antimicrobial and low permeable materials could be fabricated by preparing nanocomposites.
Ceria nanoparticles have been widely studied and used in air purification and catalysis due to its outstanding catalytic properties. Ceria nanoparticles are capable of desulfurization and soot oxidation resulting in ceria being widely used in catalytic converters of automobiles.
Surface modified mica thin-films
Mica minerals have many interesting properties and applications including insulation, dielectric property, chemical inertness, hydrophilic nature, flexibility, and optical properties. Mica surfaces can be modified various materials such as titania, zinc oxide, carbon, iron oxides and other metal oxides to provide more properties and applications. Ground mica is used as a filler in polymer industries and coatings. Mica is an essential ingredient in some ayurvedic medicines as well.
Iron oxide nanomaterials
Iron oxide nanomaterials have gained much attraction in recent years. Such materials have a magnetic property, antimicrobial activity, high sorption ability, high surface areas, and catalytic properties. Therefore these nanomaterials are extensively used in biomedical and environmental applications. Iron oxide nanomaterials are used in medical imaging, targeted drug delivery, recording devices, and industrial effluent treatment by sorption and photocatalysis. These types of nanomaterials are also a favored catalyst in various industrial organic reactions, DNA extraction, and nano-tagging.
Hollow inorganic materials
Hollow inorganic materials, such as calcium carbonate, silica, metal oxides and carbon, contain one of two voids. Such cavities in hollow materials can be filled with various materials such as pigments, fertilizers materials, polymers, and drugs in order to produce target release drugs, fertilizers, self-healing composites, insect repellents and slow releasing pigments.
Magnesium oxide nanomaterials
Magnesium oxide nanoparticles have interesting properties such as photocatalytic activity, antimicrobial property, adsorption ability, catalytic activity, smoke suppression, and various desirable insulation properties. Such nanomaterials are biocompatible and non-toxic. Therefore MgO nanomaterials are in high demand in many industries and have a wide range of applications such as ceramic material, bactericide, material for toxic waste, catalyst, etc.
Carbon quantum dots
Carbon quantum dots (CQD) is a recently invented product. Quantum dots are relatively nontoxic, biocompatible and environmental-friendly compared to other types of quantum dots. CQD have interesting features such as luminescent property, photocatalytic activity, antimicrobial property, electronic properties and photochemical stability. CQD have many applications including bioimaging, sensing, drug delivery, optronics, and catalysis.
Carbon quantum dots decorated metal oxides
CQD can be used to modify surfaces of metal oxides to introduce new properties to metal oxides and for the development of new materials for various applications. At SLINTEC we have synthesized nanoparticles of CQD that are incorporated with zirconia, magnesium oxide, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and alumina. These materials show exceptional catalytic and antimicrobial properties.