The Onto™ technology platform utilises carbene chemistry, a reactive intermediate, in order to chemically modify the surface of materials.
The technology of the Onto™ platform was developed in the laboratory of Professor Mark Moloney in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford where the fundamental research was carried out in 1990’s through to 2006. At that point Oxford Advanced Surfaces was spun out in order to commercialise the technology. The technology has been further developed and optimised to allow it to move from application in the laboratory to commercial use in industrial manufacturing processes
Unlike many chemical surface treatments which etch the surface or break up the surface of the material, carbenes carry out chemical insertions into chemical bonds on the material surface leading to chemical bonding between the surface and Onto™ treatment. Due to the highly reactive nature of carbene intermediates chemical insertion reactions are possible even in classically “inert” chemical environments (figure 1)
This process does not etch or damage the material but rather changes the chemical properties of the material by bonding a sub-micron layer to the surface. Because the Onto™ is only bonded to the surface there is no change in the bulk properties of the material.
This unique reactivity profile of carbene intermediates allows the Onto™ surface treatments to be used for the surface modification of both thermoplastic and thermoset engineering polymers/plastics, polymer blends and composites.
The Onto™ process is applicable to many material forms and can be used for the modification of sheets and films as well as fibres, fabrics and particles.
Oxford Advanced Surfaces is at the forefront of chemical surface treatment development and is actively involved in both internal and government funded collaborative R&D programs.
We are always on the look out for new avenues to develop the technology and are open to requests for collaboration from industrial partners. Please contact us for further details.