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Apr 10th, 2012
 
World-leading glass maker AGC to invest in advanced nanotechnology startup in U.S.
 
Eyes nanostructured value-added glass via stake in Rolith, Inc.
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AGC, a world-leading manufacturer of glass, chemicals and high-tech materials, announced that its wholly owned Georgia-based US subsidiary AGC America, Inc. has invested approximately two million U.S. dollars1 in Rolith Inc., a California-based developer of ultra-advanced, industrial-scale nanostructured coatings. AGC intends to combine its proprietary glass-coating technology with Rolith’s own nanostructure formation technology to strengthen its high value-added glass development and produce glass products satisfying a variety of needs.

Emerging technologies for the formation of nanostructures on glass surfaces are one of the newest ways deriving from glass surface processing technologies to develop high-performance, multi-functional glass. Nanostructures feature uniformly bumpy patterns measuring about several hundred nanometers (one nanometer equals one billionth of a meter).Rolith’s nanostructure formation technology involves large-area nanopatterning based on lithographic exposure using revolving cylindrical photomasks, which enables glass substrates to be infused with nanostructures over large surface areas within a short period of time.

“Combining the AGC Group’s coating technology with Rolith’s nanostructure formation technology will enable us to produce high-function glass for advanced application envisioned in fields such as electronics, solar power, automotive and architecture,” said Naoki Sugimoto, General Manager of Global Technology Networking for AGC America, Inc. “Meanwhile, AGC will continue to develop its own coating technologies to apply functional layers to glass surfaces for extra functionality.”

New technologies are leading to expanded applications for glass, such as smudge-proof cover glass for smartphones and other mobile devices, energy-saving fog-proof automotive glass for electric vehicles and antireflection cover glass for highly efficient photovoltaic cells.

The AGC Group, in parallel with its own aggressive research and development, will continue to pursue external investments and partnerships that enable the company to acquire additional technologies that further extend the possibilities of glass.

1 This investment is part of the Series A investment in Rolith totaling $5 million where DFJ VTB Capital Aurora is the other investor.

 

 
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