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 Laboratoire de Chimie Organique (ULB) under the supervision of the Prof. Ivan Jabin (CSO of X4C).
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The MONOCAL technology was developed during the A. Mattiuzzi’s thesis in the Laboratory of Prof. I. Jabin (ULB) 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). At first, this surface modification method was applied onto gold and carbon surfaces and very interesting results were obtained: we have thus decided to patent the technology in 2012. To promote the patent, I. Jabin and A. Mattiuzzi have obtained a public grant "FIRST Spin-Off” (from July 2012 until October 2015) in order to support an extension and improvement of the X4C methodology and the creation of a new Spin-Off company in the Walloon Region.

Surface coating with ultrathin layers (monolayers) exhibiting a highly robust interface is of paramount importance for designing materials with tailored properties or operating functions, without modifying drastically the inherent property of the material. Currently, various chemical and physical coating methods can be used to modify a surface. Nevertheless, none of them allows the formation of a robust monolayer on various surfaces (conductor, semi-conductor or insulator). The X4C technology involves the formation of a calix[4]arene monolayer on various surfaces through the electrochemical or chemical grafting 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 property to the surface.

Once the customer requirements are defined, X4C evaluates the time of the feasibility study. It is not required if the customer surface has already been modified by the X4C technology. On the other hand, for an unknown surface, the study could take up to 4 weeks. These 4 weeks of work could be extended up to 6 weeks depending on the availability of experts and the equipment for the surface characterization. When the surface characterization will be provided, the complete payment will be made by the customer. For this step, the customer must provide the surfaces’ samples.

If the feasibility study is convincing, an optimization project is proposed. The evaluation of the time (from 3 to 6 months) of this service is difficult. Indeed, it depends on the number of optimization cycle that will be required in relation to the industrial tests’ results. A down payment will be required upon signature of the agreement. A part of the payment will be made when 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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