In 1997, a lone materials engineer was working in a propulsion laboratory, tasked to stop the carbon buildup in a arcjet rocket engine. As a scientist, the first thing he did was to inspect the carbon deposit under an electron microscope. The deposit was filled with carbon nanotubes! He saved these deposits, and began to investigate methods to purify them and put them to use. Within a year, he was focused on developing applications for this wonder-material. In 1999, he met with two professors at Boston College, who were keen to start a company around nanomaterials.
In January of 2000, NanoLab was founded, and we began work to bring this material out of the laboratory. Interest in nanomaterials was strong, and NanoLab, with DoD support, developed sophisticated and high quality processes for the production of carbon nanotubes. Over the next 15 years, NanoLab developed chemical treatments that made these nanotubes and nanoparticles compatible with epoxies, rubbers, plastics, and ceramics, and also developed suites of sensors, detectors, and nanoscale electronics for various customers. We built an interdisciplinary team, each of us bringing a unique perspective to solving our customerís problems.
In 2015, we were awarded a NASA contract to develop ultra-black coatings for telescopes and coronagraphs for exo-planet discovery missions. We then developed a broader selection of ultra-black materials, both for aerospace and optical markets, and then for the artist community. To this day, we still produce nanomaterials, develop nanomaterial based sensors and the like, but our coatings business is our propelling us forward. While traditional paint manufacturers are still crushing rocks to make pigments, we synthesize nanoparticles engineered to create structural colors, photonic, plasmonic and other effects, and incorporate them into paints and coatings unlike anything on the market.