X4C has the exclusive right of a patent for a unique surface coating technology that was developed by Dr. Alice Mattiuzzi (CEO of X4C) during her thesis in the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry (ULB) under the supervision of the Prof. Ivan Jabin (CSO of X4C).
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The MONOCAL technology was developed during the thesis of A. Mattiuzzi in the Laboratory of Prof. I. Jabin (Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, ULB). This research was developped in collaboration with the team of Dr. C. Lagrost and Dr. P. Hapiot (Université Rennes 1) and the laboratory of Prof. O. Reinaud (Université Paris-Descartes). The MONOCAL technology was first developed onto gold and carbon surfaces and was then extended to various surfaces and nanoparticles. The technology was patented in 2012. After that, I. Jabin and A. Mattiuzzi obtained a public grant "FIRST Spin-Off” (2012-2015) for the creation of the X4C company in the Walloon Region.

Surface coating with ultrathin layers (monolayers) exhibiting a highly robust interface is of paramount importance for the design of materials with tailored properties. Currently, various chemical and physical coating methods can be used to modify a surface, but none of them allows the formation of a robust monolayer on various surfaces. The X4C technology is a general surface modification methodology that can be applied to any conducting, semi-conducting or insulating surface. It involves the grafting of a calix[4]arene monolayer through the electrochemical or chemical reduction of the corresponding diazonium salt. This robust and controlled monolayer can be further post-modified by a large variety of molecules, biomolecules or nanoparticles to bring new properties to the surface.

Once the customer requirements are defined, X4C makes a time estimation for a feasibility study. This feasibility study is not required if the customer surface has already been modified by the X4C technology. For an unknown surface provided by the customer, the feasibility study could take up to 4 weeks. These 4 weeks of work could be extended up to 6 weeks depending on the availability of specific equipment for surface characterization. Complete payment by the customer is made when the surface characterization is provided by X4C.

If the feasibility study is convincing, an optimization project is then proposed to the customer. The duration of an optimization project will depend on the number of optimization processes that will be required by the customer. A down payment will be required upon signature of the agreement. Part of the payment will be made when the modified surfaces will be provided to test the application. For this second step, the customer provides the surfaces’s samples. Moreover, if the customer has developed a molecule for the specific application, the customer provides it. During this step, modified surfaces are provided by X4C to test them towards the specific application. A close collaboration with the customer and X4C is necessary to obtain good results in this phase.


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