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From: donpat12/13/2011 9:13:02 PM
   of 176
Strong Nano Tech Wood Nears Production

By Bill Esler | 12/13/2011 12:03:00 PM

MONTREAL - Nano technology will soon enter the wood products lexicon, as CelluForce starts up its first plant. Super wood products spun from NanoCrystallin Cellulose (NCC), could include jumbo jets, bridges as well as fabrics and electronics.

CelluForce was formed as a joint venture by forestry and paper firm Domtar Corp. and FPInnovations. For the last eight weeks, CelluForce has been progressively starting up the equipment for the first ever large-scale production of NCC.

Nanomaterials consist of particles or fibers smaller in dimension than the width of a human hair, which combine to form extremely strong yet lightweight materials.

The first CelluForce products, which go under the brand names of CelluForce Impact and CelluForce Allure, will be produced in state-of-the-art facilities located at Domtar's pulp and paper plant in Windsor, Quebec. Construction extended over a fourteen-month period. It required a total investment of $36M including the financial participation of both the Federal and Québec governments.

NanoCrystalline Cellulose is composed of crystallites with average dimensions of 100nm length and 5nm diameter.

"Wood pulp is being delivered to the plant to test the new equipment and we are making progress on a daily basis," says CEO Jean Moreau. While furniture and particleboard are not on the dawing boards, Moreau says nano-based materials could find their way into many markets.

Montreal-based CelluForce has a workforce of 30 employees operating the first manufacturing plant for NanoCrystalline Cellulose in the world. The 25 involved in production and development since June 2011 went through intensive training sessions, says Rene Goguen, VP manufacturing, "to ensure they were ready to start up the specialized equipment, most of which was custom-built."

Trials integrating NanoCrystalline Cellulose into the manufacturing process of different products are currently taking place, says Moreau, who says he expects to sign initial contracts soon.

Recyclable and renewable, the cellulose derived nano materials improve strength, durability and toughness, and can reduce damage caused by wear, abrasion and light. It can be incorporated into systems to make structures that are light reflective (tunable from ultraviolet to infrared), impermeable to gas and stable over time. Moreau says the advanced material derived from wood fiber will lead to commercial applications largely exceeding those of traditional wood fibre products.

14 results found in the Worldwide database for:
NANOCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE in the title or abstract AND FPInnovations as the applicant


NCC forms stable suspensions
NCC can be dried and resuspended with full recovery of properties
NCC self-assembles into suprastructures that have low porosity and unique optical properties.
NCC forms stable suspensions that self-assemble into oriented films upon drying.

For more on this, see Beck, S., Bouchard
NCC in a fluid form can be oriented through an electrical or magnetic field., J. and Berry, R.:A New Method to Control Iridescence Colour in Solid Films of Nanocrystalline Cellulose, Biomacromolecules 12: 167-172 (2011)

NCC in a fluid medium can be oriented in an electrical or magnetic field.
NCC has high strength and stiffness and can amplify these properties to a matrix in which it is properly embedded.
NCC can impart impact and abrasion resistance to materials


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To: donpat who wrote (36)12/24/2011 1:01:21 PM
From: donpat
   of 176
A New Sensor To Detect Lung Cancer From Exhaled Breath

Article Date: 24 Dec 2011 - 0:00 PST

Tecnalia, through the Interreg project Medisen, is contributing to develop biosensors capable of detecting the presence of tumour markers of lung cancerin exhaled breath. This is possible because of the changes produced within the organism of an ill person, changes reflected in the exhaled breath of the patient and which enable determining the presence of this type of marker during the initial stages of the disease.

Some illnesses such as lung and stomach cancer or liver diseases which, due to the difficulty of diagnosis, have symptoms that are often confused with routine disorders. Therefore, in most cases, the disease is only detected at an advanced stage. New methods for early detection are being investigated as an urgent need.

Patients with lung cancer, treated in the Section of Medical Oncology of the Institute of Onco-Haemathology of the Donostia Hospital (IDOH) have collaborated in this phase of the project. For that, the Ethic Committee of the Clinical Research of Euskadi (CEIC) gave the authorization to the Instituto Biodonostia for the clinical trials.

Human breath, whether from a healthy or ill person, is comprised of a hundreds of organic compounds: acetone, methanol, butanol, hydrocarbons, amongst others. There is not a single specific component in the exhaled breath capable of acting as a marker for the diagnosis of lung cancer. A range of biomarkers and its combination should be selected. The compounds of interest are generally to be found at 1-20 parts per billion (ppb) in healthy human breath but can be increased 10-100-fold in the breath of sick patients. In order to be able to detect these changes the development of novel materials was required.

During the first phase of the project, breath samples were collected by the hospital staff by a breath collecting device. A detailed analysis of the most representative compounds present in the breath samples has been carried out and the family or families of compounds required to act as markers for the presence of lung cancer selected. Organic compounds have been analysed using gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry analysis (GC/MS). Then, the GC/MS results of breath tests have been analysed by statistical and structural algorithms to discriminate and identify "healthy and "cancerous" patterns that really provide information for the design of the sensor.

In parallel, novel materials for the detection of the selected organic compounds have been developed by Tecnalia in order to increase the sensitivity of the devices. Participating together with Tecnalia in this project were the Instituto de Tecnologías Químicas Emergentes de La Rioja (Inter-Química) designing the sensor device and the University of Perpignan (France) testing the novel materials.

As a conclusion, the biosensors will facilitate the diagnosis of certain diseases; mainly those located in the lungs, at the initial stages of the illness, which could increase considerably the chances of survival.

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From: donpat1/16/2012 9:57:28 PM
   of 176
OLED - Samsung - CNT - University of California - Apple

Samsung looks to borrow $1 billion to expand production capacity in Austin, Texas

By Darren Murph posted Jan 16th 2012 8:24PM

When you're producing chips for the iPad and iPhone, you need a serious facility to meet those demands. And evidently, Samsung's not foreseeing its legal battles with Apple to cause any wrinkles in said plans. In fact, Bloomberg is reporting that Sammy has "sent requests for proposals to banks to borrow as much as $1 billion to expand production capacity at its factory in Austin, Texas," with the bonds to be issued by Samsung's US unit. It's bruited that the company -- which has around $19.2 billion in cash -- may sell its first overseas bonds since 1997 due to the impossibly low cost of borrowing money these days, and in a time where positive economic news is tough to come by, it's quite the relief to see a bit of forward progress come from historically low interest rates. Reuters is reporting that the investment will mostly be used to "boost production of mobile chips and next-generation OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display panels," but specific details beyond that remain murky.

Here's the future - lighting AND TV - and remember - CNTs emitting electrons = KEESMANN (and RAMAN!):



Suspension-deposited carbon-nanotube networks for flexible active-matrix displays

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From: donpat1/18/2012 3:21:51 PM
   of 176
PSA Meeting: Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc.

This is live, private Web Broadcast of a regularly scheduled corporate briefing luncheon meeting of the Philadelphia Securities Association (PSA). For more information about the PSA and membership in the PSA, please click HERE.

Doug Baker
Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc.

Scheduled: January 18, 2012 (Wednesday)
12:15 PM EST / 9:15 AM PST
Category: Corporate Briefings
Audience: Exclusive:
Philadelphia Securities Association Members
Duration: 45 Minutes: including presentation and Q&A
Access: CLOSED
You must have a Philadelphia Securities Association
(PSA) extension subscription to register for and
attend this Web Event.
A (PSA) extension subscription is free to PSA
members who privately validate their identify when
registering on Core Compass.

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From: donpat2/7/2012 12:44:26 PM
   of 176
Nanoshell whispering galleries improve thin solar panels

Posted: Feb 7th, 2012

(Nanowerk News) Visitors to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building may have experienced a curious acoustic feature that allows a person to whisper softly at one side of the cavernous, half-domed room and for another on the other side to hear every syllable. Sound is whisked around the semi-circular perimeter of the room almost without flaw. The phenomenon is known as a whispering gallery.

In a paper published in Nature Communications ( "Broadband light management using low-Q whispering gallery modes in spherical nanoshells "), a team of engineers at Stanford describes how it has created tiny hollow spheres of photovoltaic nanocrystalline-silicon and harnessed physics to do for light what circular rooms do for sound. The results, say the engineers, could dramatically reduce materials usage and processing cost.

"Nanocrystalline-silicon is a great photovoltaic material. It has a high electrical efficiency and is durable in the harsh sun," said Shanhui Fan, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford and co-author of the paper. "Both have been challenges for other types of thin solar films."

The downfall of nanocrystalline-silicon, however, has been its relative poor absorption of light, which requires thick layering that takes a long time to manufacture.
This scanning electron microscope image shows a cross section of a layer of hollow nanoshells made of photovoltaic silicon. The thin spherical structure improves light absorption by trapping the light inside the material, creating what are known as optical whispering galleries. (Image: Yan Yao)

Whispering galleries

The engineers call their spheres nanoshells. Producing the shells takes a bit of engineering magic. The researchers first create tiny balls of silica — the same stuff glass is made of — and coat them with a layer of silicon. They then etch away the glass center using hydrofluoric acid that does not affect the silicon, leaving behind the all-important light-sensitive shell. These shells form optical whispering galleries that capture and recirculate the light.

"The light gets trapped inside the nanoshells," said Yi Cui, associate professor of materials science engineering at Stanford and a senior author of the paper. "It circulates round and round rather than passing through and this is very desirable for solar applications."

The researchers estimate that light circulates around the circumference of the shells a few times during which energy from the light gets absorbed gradually by the silicon. The longer they can keep the light in the material, the better the absorption will be.

"This is a new approach to broadband light absorption. The use of whispering-gallery resonant modes inside nanoshells is very exciting," said Yan Yao, a post-doctoral researcher in the Cui Lab and a co-lead author of the paper. "It not only can lead to better solar cells, but it can be applied in other areas where efficient light absorption is important, such as solar fuels and photodetectors."

Through thick and thin

In measuring light absorption in a single layer of nanoshells, the team showed significantly more absorption over a broader spectrum of light than a flat layer of the silicon deposited side-by-side with the nanoshells.

"The nanometer spherical shells really hit a sweet spot and maximize the absorption efficiency of the film. The shells both allow light to enter the film easily and they trap it so as to enhance the absorption in a way larger-scale counterparts cannot. That is the power of nanotechnology," said Jie Yao, a post-doctoral researcher in Cui's lab and co-lead author of the paper.

Further, by depositing two or even three layers of nanoshells atop one another, the team teased the absorption higher still. With a three-layer structure, they were able to achieve total absorption of 75% of light in certain important ranges of the solar spectrum.

Clever structure
Having demonstrated improved absorption, the engineers went on to show how their clever structure will pay dividends beyond the mere trapping of light.

First, nanoshells can be made quickly. "A micron-thick flat film of solid nanocrystalline-silicon can take a few hours to deposit, while nanoshells achieving similar light absorption take just minutes," said Yan.

The nanoshell structure likewise uses substantially less material, one-twentieth that of solid nanocrystalline-silicon.

"A twentieth of the material, of course, costs one-twentieth and weighs one-twentieth what a solid layer does," said Jie. This might allow us to cost effectively produce better-performing solar cells of rare or expensive materials."

"The solar film in our paper is made of relatively abundant silicon, but down the road, the reduction in materials afforded by nanoshells could prove important to scaling up the manufacturing of many types of thin film cells, such as those which use rarer materials like tellurium and indium" said Vijay Narasimhan, a doctoral candidate in the Cui Lab and co-author of the paper.

Finally, the nanoshells are relatively indifferent to the angle of incoming light and the layers are thin enough that they can bend and twist without damage. These factors might open up an array of new applications in situations where achieving optimal incoming angle of the sun light is not always possible. Imagine solar sails on the high seas or photovoltaic clothing for mountain climbing.

"This new structure is just the beginning and demonstrates some of exciting potentials for using advanced nanophotonic structures to improve solar cell efficiency," said Shanhui Fan.

Source: Stanford School of Engineering

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From: donpat2/9/2012 2:41:34 PM
   of 176
H01L 31/04
YANG, Mohshi
A solar cell having a first conductive layer positioned over the first substrate, and a first solar cell material positioned on the first conductive layer, wherein the first solar cell material is configured for converting incident light of a first wavelength into electrical energy. A second conductive layer is positioned over the first solar cell material, wherein the second conductive layer is transparent to at least light of the first wavelength. A second solar cell material is positioned on the second conductive layer, wherein the second solar cell material is configured for converting incident light of a second wavelength into electrical energy, wherein the second conductive layer comprises a meshed conductive material having gaps where no conductive material resides.

B05D 7/24
YANG, Mohshi
A highly transparent and electrically conductive substrate is made by applying a conductive mesh over a transparent substrate, depositing a UV-curable transparent material over the conductive mesh and the transparent substrate, and exposing the UV-curable transparent material to a directional UV light from a UV light source positioned so that the UV light emitted from the UV light source travels through the transparent substrate before being received by the UV-curable transparent material, wherein the UV-curable transparent material is cured in response to exposure from the UV light except for those portions of the UV-curable transparent material masked from exposure to the UV light by the conductive mesh. Uncured portions of the UV-curable transparent material are removed, and a transparent conductive material layer is deposited over the cured UV-curable transparent material and conductive mesh.

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From: donpat2/21/2012 12:05:42 PM
   of 176

APNT Applied Nanotech Holdings Investor Presentation Feb. 15, 2012

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From: donpat3/5/2012 1:01:58 PM
   of 176
Graphene research could enable better, cheaper detection of hazardous gases
(Nanowerk News) Fazel Yavari has developed a new sensor to detect extremely small quantities of hazardous gases. Made from a 3-D foam of the world's thinnest material—graphene—this sensor is durable, inexpensive to make, and opens the door to a new generation of gas detectors for use by bomb squads, defense and law enforcement officials, as well as applications in industrial settings.
Yavari, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is one of three finalists for the 2012 $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize. A public ceremony announcing this year's winner will be held at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, in the auditorium of the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. For more information on the ceremony visit:
Fazel Yavari
Yavari's project is titled "High Sensitivity Detection of Hazardous Gases Using a Graphene Foam Network," and his faculty adviser is Nikhil Koratkar, professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer.

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From: donpat3/6/2012 12:54:13 PM
   of 176
New Approach Aims to Slash Cost of Solar Cells

March 5, 2012

Enlarge image
Ampulse Corporation is installing a pilot production line in the Process Development Integration Laboratory (PDIL) at NREL. It represents a new, less wasteful way of making solar cells and should result in less expensive devices.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder

Solar-powered electricity prices could soon approach those of power from coal or natural gas thanks to collaborative research with solar start-up Ampulse Corporation at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Silicon wafers account for almost half the cost of today's solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, so reducing or eliminating wafer costs is essential to bringing prices down.

Current crystalline silicon technology, while high in energy conversion efficiency, involves processes that are complex, wasteful, and energy intensive. First, half the refined silicon is lost as dust in the wafer-sawing process, driving module costs higher. A typical 2-meter boule of silicon loses as many as 6,000 potential wafers during sawing. Second, the wafers produced are much thicker than necessary. To efficiently convert sunlight into electricity, they need only one-tenth the typical thickness.

NREL, DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Ampulse have teamed on an approach to eliminate this waste and dramatically lower the cost of the finished solar panels. The aim is to create a less expensive alternative to wafer-based crystalline silicon solar cells.

By using a chemical vapor deposition process to grow the silicon on inexpensive foil, Ampulse is able to make the solar cells just thick enough to convert most of the solar energy into electricity. No more sawdust — and no more wasting refined silicon materials.

Straight from Pure Silicon to High-Quality Crystal Silicon Film
Enlarge image
Engineers and technicians from Ampulse, NREL, and Roth & Rau go over plans for installing parts in the pilot production line for making solar cells via a chemical deposition process.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder

NREL developed the technology to grow high-quality silicon.

ORNL developed the metal foil that has the correct crystal structure to support that growth.

And Ampulse is installing a pilot manufacturing line in NREL's Process Development Integration Laboratory (PDIL), where solar companies test their latest materials and processes.

With knowledge and expertise acquired from the PDIL pilot production line, Ampulse plans to design a full-scale production line to accommodate long rolls of metal foil.

The Ampulse process "goes straight from pure silicon-containing gas to high-quality crystal silicon film," said Brent Nelson, who runs the PDIL at NREL. "The advantage is you can make the wafer just as thin as you need it — 10 microns or less."

Most of today's solar cells are made out of wafer crystalline silicon, though thin-film cells made of more exotic materials like gallium, arsenic, indium, arsenide, cadmium, and tellurium are making a strong push into the market.

The advantage of silicon is its abundance, as it is derived from sand. Its disadvantage is that purifying it into wafers suitable for solar cells is expensive and energy intensive.

Manufacturers add carbon and heat to sand to produce metallurgical-grade silicon, which is useful in other industries, but not yet suitable for making solar cells. This metallurgical-grade silicon is then converted to pure trichlorosilane (SiCl3) or silane (SiH4) gas.

Typically, the purified gas is converted to create a silicon feedstock at 1,000 degrees Celsius (°C). This feedstock is melted at 1,414°C and recrystallized into crystal ingots that are finally sawed into wafers. Think of it as the Rube Goldberg approach to creating a solar cell.

Instead, the Ampulse process backs up two steps. Rather than create a feedstock, it works with the silane directly and grows just the needed silicon right onto a foil substrate.

Combining NREL's Deposition Technique with ORNL's Textured Foil
Enlarge image
Ampulse's pilot production line is nearly complete at NREL's PDIL. If the line can make highly efficient solar cells at low cost, the next step will be a full-sized production plant.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder

A team of NREL scientists including Howard Branz and Chaz Teplin had developed a way to use a process called hot-wire chemical vapor deposition to thicken silicon wafers with perfect crystal coatings. Using a hot tungsten filament much like the one found in an incandescent light bulb, the silane gas molecules are broken apart and deposited onto the wafer using the chemical vapor deposition technique at about 700°C — a much lower temperature than needed to make the wafer. The hot filament decomposes the gas, allowing silicon layers to deposit directly onto the substrate.

Armed with this new technique, Branz and Teplin searched for ways to grow the silicon on cheaper materials and still use it for solar cells.

They found the ideal synergy when visiting venture capitalists from Battelle Ventures asked them whether they could do anything useful with a breakthrough at ORNL called RABiTS (rolling assisted biaxially textured substrate). It was just the opportunity the two scientists had been seeking.

If metal foil is to work as a substrate, it must be able to act as a seed crystal so the silicon can grow on it with the correct structure. The RABiTS process forms crystals in the foil that are correctly oriented to receive the silicon atoms and lock them into just the right positions.

NREL and ORNL worked to combine their technologies using a small amount of funding from Battelle Ventures. Using the right intermediate "buffer layers" to coat the foil substrates, the researchers were able to replicate the desired foil crystal structure in the silicon layer grown over metal foil (epitaxial growth).

Establishing Ampulse Corporation
Enlarge image
A technician handles the many wires and hoses at Ampulse's pilot production line being installed in NREL's PDIL.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder

With a commitment to develop the new technology in cooperation with the two national labs, Battelle Ventures and Innovation Valley Partners joined forces to form Ampulse. Initially, Ampulse had very few employees and no offices — just a name, an idea, and a commitment to develop the technology via the unique instrumentation and scientific expertise at the two national labs.

The company then established a $500,000 cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with NREL and a similar agreement with ORNL.

Ampulse also received a total of $900,000 from DOE's Technology Commercialization and Deployment funds at NREL and ORNL. Because Ampulse was started as a company with very low overhead, nearly all its initial funding went toward research efforts at NREL and ORNL.

"Our initial technology success from those funds enabled Ampulse to raise two rounds of venture capital," Branz said.

The company now has 13 employees and six full-time consultants and is currently working with 22 sponsored researchers from two national labs. The first employee at Ampulse, Steve Hane, remains its CEO.

A Giant Step Toward the $1 per Watt Goal?"We have the potential to produce a 15%-efficient solar cell at less than 50 cents per watt with a fraction of the capital investment of other venture-funded PV companies," Hane said. "And that's due to our R&D collaborations with the national labs." Hane said the unique relationship between the national labs and venture capitalists should be a model for future technology transfers to the private sector.

Recently, with its SunShot Initiative, DOE challenged researchers to lower the cost of solar energy by two-thirds to $1 per watt installed. By eliminating costly silicon wafers — but still using silicon as the core material — the Ampulse approach has the potential to meet this target.

"The trick is to get as good material quality as you have in a wafer," Teplin said. "We're using our existing knowledge of how to grow silicon directly from a gas phase onto these metal foils."

Production Line Features Vacuum Chambers and Quartz LampsThe production line being installed at NREL's PDIL consists of a half dozen cube-like vacuum chambers where foils are overcoated with buffer and silicon layers to fabricate solar cells. It was built to Ampulse's specifications by Roth & Rau Microsystems of Germany.

The new production system will also exchange samples with other NREL research and analysis equipment in the PDIL. NREL's "wafer replacement tool" will be connected to the Ampulse system and will have a robot that can retrieve samples while maintaining vacuum, preventing exposure of the sample to air.

To fabricate solar cells, metal foils are loaded into the Ampulse system, where quartz lamps heat them to a temperature of 850°C. First, the foils are coated with the necessary buffer layers. Then, the samples are transferred to a specially designed chamber where the key silicon layers are grown. The silicon is then exposed to atomic hydrogen to improve its electronic properties. Finally, solar cell junction and electrical contacts are developed.

"With this new tool, we will be able integrate NREL and ORNL technologies seamlessly and quickly," Teplin said. "Further, with access to all of NREL's other PDIL capabilities, we really expect technological progress to accelerate."

Branz summed up: "The main thing is that we can grow high-quality silicon layers very fast and without putting much energy into the process. That means the solar cells can turn out much cheaper than the wafer-based cells."

"Our process goes directly from gas to the epitaxial silicon phase, bypassing the growth and sawing phase," Ampulse's Director of Planning and Logistics, Mike Colby, said. "We made it large because we needed to demonstrate the scalability of the system."

"To accelerate time to market, we need to maximize the cycle speed," Colby added. "The goal is to achieve the crystal silicon performance that until now focused on thicker wafers — and without having to use a 1,400°C furnace."

As skilled technicians tweaked the knobs of the potentially game-changing prototyping line, Colby said, "We've had good luck and a good relationship with NREL. The aim of NREL, and of the PDIL, is to work with the needs of business and help accelerate commercialization of new technologies. This definitely does that."

Learn more about solar energy research at NREL.

—Bill Scanlon

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From: donpat3/11/2012 11:54:12 AM
   of 176
Highly Sensitive Mercaptans Instrument for Odorant Characterization in Gas Mains

Artificial Human Nose

NYSEARCH in collaboration with PHMSA/ USDoT, is funding Applied Nanotech, Inc., of Austin, TX, to develop an instrument able to measure the main components of mercaptans mixtures routinely encountered in natural gas, renewable natural gas, biogas, landfill gas, etc. The instrument will allow the detection and
measurement of such compounds at the parts per billion (ppb) level, thus serving as an artificial human nose.

The development of the methane sensor has been completed and laboratory testing has shown that all specifications have been met. The sensor is currently undergoing field testing at NYSEARCH member companies to determine its robustness, reliability and performance. At the successful completion of the field testing program, the commercialization effort will be initiated.

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