Developments in nano-particles may bring substantial improvements in the size or cost of solar PV cells, fuel cells, advanced energy storage equipment, thermal coatings, paints and even cosmetics.CODY, Wyoming, US, 2001-10-19 [SolarAccess.com] Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. says its nano-sized yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) has proven a valuable fabrication tool in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) development. Using its proprietary nano YSZ, Altair has formed electrolyte films of less than 25 microns in thickness. The nano sized YSZ enables production of a thinner film that increases the oxyanion transfer efficiency. Altair has recently made its commercially produced nano YSZ available to fuel cell developers. Earlier, the same nanosized YSZ was reported to form the porous substrates that support the catalysts and high temperature conductive ceramics required for fuel cells to perform on hydrocarbon fuels. Using the same YSZ to support all three components of the fuel cell, resolves issues of differential thermal expansion, warping, and separation of cell elements. Several development cells have been forwarded to MIT for catalyst loading and reaction testing under their agreement with Altair. Altair has provided sample quantities of its YSZ nanoparticles to an automotive group for evaluation, and has agreed to send samples of its complete SOFC core structure for testing in a generation mode. Altair will present details of its fuel cell evaluation and development program at a fuel cell conference in Chicago this week. Nanotechnology is emerging as a unique industry sector. Altair says its goal is to become a leading supplier of nanomaterials through product innovation in a new science and its proprietary technology for making nanocrystalline materials of unique quality, economically in large quantities. It currently is developing nanomaterials with potential applications in solar cells and advanced energy storage devices, as well as thermal spray coatings, catalysts, cosmetics, paints and environmental remediation.