Nanophase Technologies Celebrates 25 Years of Nanomaterials Innovation


Chicago, Ill. (Nov. 18, 2014) – Nanophase Technologies, a global leader in engineered nanomaterials for a range of applications, announced that the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this November.

Nanophase Technologies grew out of Argonne National Laboratory in 1989, where some of the earliest research in the nanotech space was taking place. Nanophase began as a small group of scientists who were using an inert gas condensation system to produce three to four grams of nanoparticles a day. They were looking for a way to commercialize this new technology.

Over the next decade, the company transitioned from a purely conceptual space in Evanston, Ill. to a lab in Darien, Ill. to meet the need for a fabrication capability. Nanophase then created its patented PVS technology, which made it possible to efficiently produce meaningful volumes of zinc oxide for the personal care market. This led to the opening of a new plant in Burr Ridge, Ill. The company went public in 1997, and research on coating and dispersion technology began shortly thereafter.  

The company then began its foray into other elements. Principal Scientist Harry Sarkas, Ph.D., said, “We needed a new process to give us access to the rest of the periodic table.” This new plasma process soon led to the opening of a new plant and headquarters in Romeoville Ill. Nanophase began producing hundreds of metric tons of nanoparticles each year. The company had transitioned to a manufacturing enterprise.  

Today Nanophase continues to evolve, tackling new engineering challenges and leveraging its dispersion and particle production expertise to enter new markets with a portfolio of products.

Mohammad Ali, one of Nanophase’s first employees who now serves as the Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance, believes the company has a bright future. “We have the right business plan and the right people,” Ali said. “Right now we are a very lean, very efficient company.”

Nanophase CEO Jess Jankowski said, “The history of nanotech is littered with failed startups, but Nanophase has turned this niche science into a commercial franchise with real production, real volume and globally significant customers. The company’s 25th anniversary is a testament to our staying power.”