A thousand days of SALD: Nano start-up on the road to success
Dutch company SALD BV (Eindhoven, The Nethlerlands) will celebrate an unusual company anniversary on 7 September 2022: 1000 days since its foundation on the same day in 2019. “Since then, we have been awarded two patents related to our atomic coating technology, gained the Dutch National Groeifonds as a supporter, interested more than 50 companies for industrial use, established partnerships with renowned research and development institutions in Europe, Asia and America and are involved in numerous scientific and industrial projects," CEO Frank Verhage sums up the first 1000 days.
The company derives its name from the surface technology "Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition" (SALD), with which nano-thin atomic coatings can be applied. For the current business year, SALD expects to double its turnover, as it did last year. In addition to an ever-growing clientele from industry, the company has been awarded participation in three EU-funded projects, which are to be launched in the next few months.
Nanocoatings, which are composed of atom-thin layers of different substances stacked on top of each other, are considered "the next big thing". They represent the key technology for solar panels with maximum efficiency, organic electronic chips with 5- to 7-nanometre structures, wafer-thin, tear-resistant packaging films, techno-textiles with novel properties and batteries that can power e-cars for well over 1000 kilometres without recharging. After decades of laboratory research, SALD boss Frank Verhage is convinced that the cross-sectional technology of "Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition" (SALD) required for this is on the threshold of industrial mass production.
SALD BV has its sights set on three markets in particular: efficient solar cells, long-lasting batteries and environmentally friendly packaging. In the solar industry, SALD coatings for the new generation of perovskite silicon tandem solar cells can achieve power conversion efficiencies far beyond the theoretical limit of pure silicon. For lithium-ion batteries, an SALD layer, which protects the electrodes from the electrolyte, increases stability and prevents the formation of harmful dendrites. For the production of next-generation, fast-charging, high-performance solid-state batteries, SALD coating is an obvious choice. In the packaging industry, SALD can be used to create airtight barrier layers that increase the shelf life of packaged goods and reduce the use of plastics or other packaging materials. In addition to these three areas of application, SALD technology can be used in numerous other fields, the company emphasises. Electrolysis, fuel cells and optical devices are cited as examples.
Caption: The SALD team (photo: SALD BV)