Industry News

Intermolecular and Guardian Industries Partner on Development of Advanced Glass Coatings for Energy and Other Applications

Published on 2010-07-07. Author : SpecialChem

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Intermolecular, Inc. announced the signing of a multi-year collaborative development program (CDP) and technology licensing agreement with Guardian Industries, Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich. Guardian is the world's largest manufacturer of coated glass for automotive, architectural and other applications.

The partnership between Intermolecular and Guardian addresses the development and commercialization of a diverse set of advanced glass coatings, many related to energy generation or energy efficiency in buildings. Target applications include both sputtered coatings to be developed with Intermolecular's Tempus™ P-30 combinatorial physical vapor deposition platform, and liquid coatings to be developed with Intermolecular's Tempus F-10 and F-20 wet workflows.

The deal represents the first publicly announced CDP for Intermolecular outside of the semiconductor industry, and demonstrates the applicability of Intermolecular's High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) technology to a wide array of materials, process and device integration challenges.

Glass coatings currently used to reduce energy consumption in buildings already represent a multi-billion dollar global market with significant room for further growth. Improving the performance and reducing the costs of these products will be a key focus of the development partnership. Residential and commercial glass facades have a major impact on energy used for heating and cooling, which together account for 40 to 60 percent of all energy consumed in U.S. buildings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Glass was one of mankind's first breakthroughs in materials science, and it has undergone tremendous development over its 5000-year history," said Scott Thomsen, Guardian's chief technology officer and group vice president for glass in North America. "Through our work with Intermolecular, we hope to take materials innovation in glassmaking to an entirely new level. Intermolecular's HPC approach to R&D allows us to comprehensively and efficiently explore the periodic table of elements, and to quickly develop and commercialize high-performance coatings for a variety of high-growth applications. Glass coatings still have enormous potential for innovation. Working with Intermolecular will allow us to extend our technical leadership, improve the performance of our existing products and accelerate new product development with lower cost and risk."

Technologists from Guardian Science & Technology Center and Intermolecular will work side-by-side on multiple product development projects simultaneously, with Guardian team members spending significant time onsite at Intermolecular's development facilities in San Jose, CA.

"A CDP with a company of Guardian's scale and reputation represents an important milestone for Intermolecular, extending our experience in the semiconductor sector into the significant new market of performance coatings on glass," said Craig Hunter, Intermolecular vice president and general manager, clean energy technologies. "Guardian's R&D organization has tremendous experience and skills in developing and commercializing large area glass coatings. Coupling their strengths with Intermolecular's R&D capabilities and methods has the potential to change the entire glass industry, dramatically accelerating the pace of developing new products that can have a positive effect on daily life and reduce energy consumption."

Intermolecular's HPC hardware and software resources allow technologists to conduct hundreds of experiments in parallel, and then quickly sift the resulting data for promising combinations. These possibilities can then be evaluated, refined, and tested for manufacturing readiness, all in a fraction of the time that would be required with traditional R&D techniques. Intermolecular's elite team of scientists and engineers works closely with their counterparts at customer companies, to ensure that the development work is tightly linked to new-product needs.

About Guardian Industries Corp.:

Guardian is a diversified global manufacturing company headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, with leading positions in float glass, fabricated glass products, fiberglass insulation and other building materials for commercial, residential and automotive markets. Through its Science & Technology Center, Guardian is at the forefront of innovation, including development of high-performance glass coatings and other advanced products. Guardian, its subsidiaries and affiliates employ 18,000 people and operate facilities throughout North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

About Intermolecular:

Intermolecular, Inc. delivers High Productivity Combinatorial™ (HPC) technology products and services that enable customers in the semiconductor and clean energy sectors to maximize their R&D ROI. The company's Tempus™ HPC™ Platform provides manufacturers and their supply chain companies with integrated processing, characterization and informatics systems that exponentially accelerate learning in materials discovery, process development and IC device integration.

Customers apply Intermolecular's technologies in their R&D projects through Collaborative Development Programs (CDPs) with Intermolecular's multidisciplinary team, or through purchase of Tempus systems, or by licensing of IP developed and qualified by Intermolecular. By leveraging HPC technologies to quickly develop, integrate and electrically test multiple alternative solutions, at minimum cost and risk, customers obtain unique IP and time-to-market advantage.

Founded in 2004, Intermolecular is based in San Jose, California.

Source: Intermolecular, Inc.

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