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New Nanoelectronic Materials to Enhance Reliability of Electronics

As a society, we have become completely reliant on technology. But technological products can fail disastrously, and often at the worst possible moment. A cell phone bursts into flames during taxiing on a domestic flight. Office computer systems go down with annoying regularity, almost to the point of resigned acceptance, resulting in major losses to business productivity and profitability across the country and around the world. A young parent’s vehicle, their children sleeping in the back, dies late at night on a lonely stretch of road.

Equipment failure is, without question, a concern for any manufacturer, electronic manufacturers included. And with good reason: the issue can be exceedingly serious. These are things that keep responsible manufacturers awake at night.



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Press Release 1:

Further reading

You might enjoy this Scientific American article on the nature of Quantum Physics by Meinard Kuhlmann, philosophy professor at Bielefeld University.

© 2013 Scientific American, entitled  “Physicists Debate Whether the World Is Made of Particles or Fields--or Something Else Entirely”

Note: This link will open the Scientific American website where the article can be purchased.

IRTI is not affiliated with and has neither provided nor received any promotional consideration from any of the private companies or websites listed on this website.  Articles, documents or websites from them are provided for informational purposes only, and opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the opinion of IRTI.

All images under license © Pexels, Adobe Stock.

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New Nanoelectronic Materials


From an early field test on audio equipment, a user reported, “What I really noticed most was the lack of distortion … in the speakers when using the keyboard at the extreme high and low range at higher volumes. And less noise, hiss, and hum when playing softly. Also, there was less distortion within specific

frequency ranges after raising EQ. So that meant more clarity all round.”

Product development continues.

extreme-use situations and resulted in as much as a 50% or greater reduction in distortion levels in audio gear, according to Whyte.


The materials have shown impressive benefits when applied to both digital and analog electronics. Prior to commencing work with the University of Akron, early test results using prototype materials at Imagine Research and Technology showed that the technology greatly improved the recovery and stabilization of computer digital electronics in

“Beyond improvements in reliability, this nanoelectronic technology is also intended to address barriers that are keeping electronics researchers and manufacturers from reaching advanced capabilities that are currently unachievable,” said Whyte.

“In 2013, Imagine Research and Technology Inc. began serious work with the University of Akron, considered by many to be the number one polymer research institute in the world. Purdue University recently joined the research as well. Much has been achieved, and much remains to be done. This is an exciting field,” he said.

“We are gratified to have such a fruitful relationship with Imagine Research and Technology,” said Mukerrem (Miko) Cakmak, PhD, the project’s head researcher at Purdue.  Dr. Cakmak is the former Harold A. Morton Chair and Director of the Center for Multifunctional Polymer Nanomaterials and Devices at the University of Akron, and is currently Reilly Professor of Materials Engineering & Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.

Mark D. Soucek, PhD, professor of Polymer Engineering and professor of Chemistry in UA’s Department of Polymer Engineering said, “Partnering with Imagine’s vision and Dr. Cakmak is a winning combination as far as I am concerned. Speaking for the graduate students who have worked on the project and for myself, we are very excited to bring forward this enabling technology into the marketplace.” The project also forms part of his graduate students’ PhD candidacy and thesis dissertation work.


and finally decided to focus my energies on its development. My business partner and I took a close look at the current electronic industry and realized that faster processing speeds, extreme miniaturization, and advanced functions are placing demands on circuit designers and manufacturers that have never been seen in the past.

electronics in big glowing letters. But I shelved the idea while I pursued other plans.”

Fast forward 20 years, and the electronics field has advanced to such a degree that technologies built on these quantum electronic materials are more valuable now than ever before.  “I’ve thought about this idea for years,


Co-inventor of the patent-pending materials, Doug Whyte has spent his life working in the electronics and computer industries. He first came across the underlying chemical building blocks of these revolutionary materials in the late 1990s at his company. “We were talking over coffee about a novel discovery in chemistry that, for me, shouted ‘opportunity’ for

The same can be said for any kind of electronics, for that matter. “I think it’s been amply demonstrated just how catastrophic the chain of events can be, when, without warning, a piece of electronic equipment fails in the pocket of an unsuspecting end user,” he said.

And no electronics manufacturer is exempt.

“These patent-pending nanoelectronic materials are the first of their kind in the world. Any manufacturer could have a huge competitive advantage by utilizing this group of polymer products in their manufacturing process,” said Whyte.

Eight forms of these materials have been under confidential development over the last 4+ years. “We are bringing our products to industry at a key point in their development. The first two forms are ready for market,” according to Whyte.

“The results shown on the first two forms of the product are very exciting and we look forward to the upcoming year and to bringing to market all the products we are developing. These results are really just the beginning,” he said.


“Today’s sophisticated consumer demands that equipment won’t fail. Is there anyone in their right mind who would get into a self-driving vehicle or let his family get into one, let alone buy one, without knowing and trusting that they are reliable beyond measure?” added Whyte.

“Self-driving vehicles, aerospace, aviation, the military, medical electronics, etc., will be our first focus because of the demands in those fields for extreme stability and reliability of electronics,” according to Doug Whyte, CEO of Imagine Research.


film production, home audio and video, and a host of other fields. It is expected that major first adopters of these products will be manufacturers in mission-critical and life-critical applications where extreme reliability of electronics is demanded.

improve the functioning and reliability of virtually every electronic component manufactured.

These nanoelectronic materials are intended to produce benefits specific to the application. They are applicable to electronics in aerospace, the military, aviation, advanced automotives, medical electronics, computers, cell phones, robotics, industrial electronics, professional television, theatre and


For electronics, the burgeoning field of nanoelectronics has the potential to offer unique solutions to electronic equipment failure.  Under co-development with Imagine Research and Technology Inc. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the University of Akron (UA), and now with Purdue University, the creation of a new group of advanced quantum nanoelectronic polymer materials is expected to


  1. Kevin Price “Price of Business” Radio Interviews

  1. Radio Commentary:

    "Electronics in a Throwaway World”

  1. Frankie Boyer Radio Interview


  1. Business In Edmonton magazine

Website Articles:


    “Crash-Proofing Electronics – Is It Possible?”


    “Life-Critical Electronics – How Safe is ‘Safe Enough’”


    “Electronics and Environmental Damage”


    “Self Driving Vehicles – Ready for the Street?”


    “EU Aims to Abolish Planned Obsolescence”

Press releases:

Press Release 1

    New Nanoelectronic Materials To Enhance Reliability of Electronics

Press Release 2

    Material increases contact surface area of gold more than 1100 times

Further Reading






We are delighted to announce that we have been nominated for several prestigious industry awards.  Whether we win or not, we are deeply grateful for being honoured in this way.

1.The Edison Awards

Originally established in 1987 by the American Marketing Association, the Edison Awards™ have recognized and honoured some of the most innovative products and business leaders in the world and is among the most prestigious accolades honouring excellence in new product and service development, marketing, design and innovation.  Its awards are based on the enduring principles of design, innovation and marketing of Thomas Alva Edison and is considered the “Academy Awards of Technology”.  The 2018 Awards take place April 11, 2018 in New York City at a gala evening of presentations.

Edison Awards update.  Unfortunately, we’ve received an email from the Edison Awards saying that our nomination would not be advancing to the finalists. However, we are still invited to the awards presentation in April, and they invited us to try out again next year. 

So as CEO I’m disappointed but I’m still very pleased with it all. The Edison Awards are the Oscars of the electronics world, and to be nominated like this as we are just entering the commercialization phase is quite incredible.  We were really honored.  It’d be like a film maker's first film being nominated to the Academy Awards.  Staggeringly prestigious, and all of us deserve to be proud!  It is a very positive part of our journey, and we thank the Edison Awards for who they are.


2.The ACE Awards

We were selected as a finalist for the ACE Awards, which took place in Silicon Valley on Dec. 6, 2017 and highlighted innovation in electronics.  We were one of four finalists in our category,
which is “Tomorrow’s Reality”. To simply be selected alongside our fellow finalists was pretty heady stuff in itself.  

The other three finalists included:

  1. iMedrix (medical instrumentation) , 

  2. Texas Instruments (semiconductors) , and

  3. Bedrock Automation (internet security) 

Here’s the complete list of finalists in all categories.


The Awards evening happened in conjunction with the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley ( and was sponsored by Analog Devices (


From ACE's website,  "The ACE (Annual Creativity in Electronics) Awards, in partnership with EE Times and EDN, showcase the best of the best in today's electronics industry, including the hottest new products, start-up companies, design teams, executives, and more. ACE celebrates the promise of new talent and innovation, and pays tribute to the lifetime achievement of a top industry veteran whose contributions have had a demonstrable impact on technological, business, and cultural advancements in the world."

Pictures and Stories

The ACE Awards event in San Jose was really amazing. We didn’t take the award (the people developing the internet security software did), but we had some terrific exposure and made some great contacts that we’re going to be able to follow up on.

There were also some interesting comments that were said that made us realize that our category (Tomorrow’s Reality) which is new this year, is quite unique in that the finalists are each working on completely different areas that are totally unrelated.  Our nanoelectronic materials constitute an underlying industry-wide electronics-enabling technology. 

The category is for new technologies that will be game changing for the electronics industry as a whole, and as such there is no competition.  So if you’re a finalist, really you’ve already won.  Quite unexpected. 

In any case Nicole and I had a real blast, and this will allow us to develop relationships with all the finalists.



3.The Ohio Faculty Council Technology Commercialization Award

In front of the San Jose Convention Center.  This is also where Apple holds its World Wide Developer Conferences.

The Program

Some of the crowd.  Awards were presented in 17 categories. There were maybe 100-150 people there.

Sponsored by Analog Devices

The MC

Nicole, Doug and Lucy Fan, Director of Marketing For Marvell

Our name in lights!

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ajay Bhatt, co-creator of the USB bus

Ajay Bhatt, in talking about creating the USB bus said, “My boss at Intel came to me and gave me the directive to create a new bus to allow devices to interconnect.  He said to me, ‘How difficult can it be?  It’s just two wires’


4.The Grant Thornton Private Business Growth Award

businesses that have demonstrated outstanding strategic growth. A jury of high-profile Canadian business leaders will select 10 finalists and one winning company that will receive national recognition for their successful growth strategy. Though we were pleased to be nominated for this award because of the technology we are introducing, we were unable to accept nomination because we are just at the start of the commercialization phase. Next year!


The Private Business Growth Award, presented by The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Grant Thornton LLP, recognizes Canadian-owned, privately-held


discoveries and the role the nominees have played in supporting the translation of these discoveries into marketable products and/or services. In partnership with VentureOhio, with its 90 members (including major VC funds, angel groups, incubators and corporations), the OFC celebrates the success of faculty in working toward creating a collaborative and resourceful statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem that allows high-potential companies to grow and prosper.

Miko Cakmak and Mark Soucek, our heads of research at Akron and Purdue have been nominated for this award for their work on our materials. The award is presented annually to recognize exceptional research

Radio Interviews with Kevin Price, The Price of Business

The Price of Business is a one-hour US nationally syndicated radio show out of Houston Texas.  It airs daily on the BizTalk Radio Network. 

Kevin Price is a nationally syndicated columnist and a guest on radio and TV shows, including Fox News, Fox Business and many others.

The many sites that that have run his syndicated column includes the Huffington Post. He is said to have written in more categories than any writer in the history of HuffPo.

This radio interview aired on June 22, 2018.

    Life Critical Electronics - How Safe is Safe Enough?

This second radio interview aired on July 12, 2018.

    “Self-Driving Vehicles - Ready For The Street?"

Radio Interview with Frankie Boyer

The Frankie Boyer Biz Talk Lifestyle Radio Show is a one-hour US nationally syndicated radio show out of Boston.  It airs daily on the BizTalk Radio Network. 

Frankie’s radio show features up beat, out-of-the box guests delivering new ideas, and solutions that change the world you live in. 

This radio interview with Doug Whyte aired on May 29, 2018.

Business In Edmonton (BIE) magazine recently approached us to do a profile story on us.  BIE is the magazine of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

The article came out in the February 2018 edition. The magazine goes to 25,000 businesses in Edmonton.

The magazine said that when they do a profile story like this they like to talk not only about the company and what is being achieved but also the person behind the company. What is his or her story?  What are his passions?  Who inspires him?  How did he turn a dream into reality?  What is his vision?

Nanoelectronic material

increases contact surface area of gold

July 2017

Doug Whyte, CEO, Imagine Research and Technology Inc., Edmonton AB Canada

Miko Cakmak, PhD, Materials and Mechanical Engineering Depts.,

Purdue University, West Lafayette Indiana

Mark D. Soucek, PhD, Department of Polymer Engineering,

University of Akron, Akron Ohio

Researchers at the University of Akron and Purdue University in conjunction with Imagine Research and Technology Inc., working on development of a series of nanoelectronic polymers have made a patent-pending discovery with the materials that increases the electrically active contact surface area of gold by more than 1100 times.  Gold is used extensively in electronic products.


A prime example of an initial use would be in electrical contact surfaces in electronic products.  The typical piece of electronic gear has dozens, hundreds or sometimes thousands of such surfaces. 

“This project is industry-directed research.  We came to the University of Akron in 2013 with a very specific problem in electronics that needed to be solved.  Purdue University has recently joined us as well.  We first achieved synthesis of a liquid polymer in the lab that displayed the electrical properties we were after.

However, that form of material cannot normally be changed into gels, flex coats or hard coatings.  Those various forms would be required to make it suitable for use by electronics manufacturers on the production line.  Without that, it would have remained a very interesting science project.

Based on previous discoveries made 6 months earlier in the lab by one of us (Soucek), we began work to create and explore ways to modify the material to achieve gel, hard coat and other forms.  That work has now been successful.  We knew we had made a significant discovery when we realized the gel also has this ability to electrically bond at the subatomic level in a quantum conductive manner.  We now have eight unique forms of the material in development, each applicable to different areas of a circuit board. The first two of those are ready for market.“

In lab studies, the materials appear to effectively achieve a deep bond in the gold’s surface at the subatomic level, where it acts as a bidirectional conductor.  The study has been replicated several times at Akron.

“In use the materials appear to alter the effective topography of a gold surface, such that the entire surface is

made electrically available at the subatomic level”, said Doug Whyte, one of the inventors of the material.

Press release 2:

Work now being done or planned with the material include methods to further advance this subatomic conductive property, achieve extension of the depth of the quantum function and to build in self-healing.  The studies are showing promise.

Work is also commencing on a related project at Purdue and Akron that will study methods of advancing flexible transparent carbon nanotechnology, thereby creating additional new opportunities for applications.

“We think this gold surface enhancement feature of the material, plus several other features it also displays can combine to significantly increase the performance and reliability of electronics, particularly in mission critical applications - aviation, self-driving vehicles, aerospace, the military, medical electronics, search and rescue, emergency response, etc.  Anywhere that extreme reliability is demanded”, said Whyte.

The polymer also produces similar effects on other metals including silver, tin and copper.

Research and development continues.

Send this press release

to a friend! 

Click the link below to download the pdf.

Surface Area of Gold



Business in Edmonton magazine article




Radio Commentary with Doug Whyte on The Price of Business

“Electronics in a Throwaway World”

This radio commentary talks about the massive amounts of failed, useless obsolete electronics that hits landfills every year. Estimates are as high as 45 million tonnes worldwide.


“The purpose of creation is the expansion of happiness, and we are all here to enjoy and radiate happiness everywhere.”

Brahmananda Saraswati, Jagadguru Baghwan Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math

“It is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world.”

The 14th Dalai Lama

These are the guiding truths of our company. The intense ignorance in the world has brought us all too close to the brink. This is what the world faces now, for the first time ever.  What have we handed to our children and grandchildren?

If we adhere to these principles and welcome those whose hearts speak the same language, we can make a difference.  It starts from within each of us as humans.

Doug Whyte, CEO