"This technology means that battery makers now have the ability to create cell phones or computers that will last for weeks on a single charge," said founder and CEO Thomas Griego.
"The implications of this technology have far-reaching practical applications and can benefit an array of industries beyond the wireless battery market.It is equally useful for MEMS (microscopic machines), electronics, automotive and the defense industries."
The company is a presenter at Technology Ventures Corp.'s
ninth annual New Mexico Equity Capital Symposium May 15-16 in Albuquerque.It seeks $4.3 million in funding, which it will use to create a factory and hire more employees.
"In those powders, you want the highest surface area and the shortest distances between the metals, or electrodes," Griego
said."We can provide enhancements that make those batteries more efficient.You can charge them faster.We predict you can charge a lithium battery to 90 percent in 10 minutes, which is about five times faster than it takes right now." SurFect
can also help decrease the costs of some fuel cells.The cells typically use platinum - one of the most expensive metals - to transmit electric current.
"You can take metals and mix them together when they're molten and create an alloy - that's kind of like making a cake," Griego
said."We make the frosting, by applying a surface to those other materials.We can selectively create metallic properties and place platinum on surfaces so you don't need to use as much of it." SurFect
spun out of GET Systems in July 2001.GET, also founded by Griego, makes electroplating equipment - the machines used to put various coatings on dust-sized or smaller particles.GET
makes the equipment used by SurFect
and SurFect are two independent companies, but the long-range prospects for GET are assured by SurFect," Griego
moved out of GET
's office space late last year and into new space with clean-room facilities.The company wants to first focus on battery and fuel cell markets - estimated to grow to $14.1 billion by 2005.The materials component of the market, which SurFect
is targeting, is estimated to be $3.1 billion by 2005.The company initially plans to market itself in Asia, where several manufacturers are located.
It also plans to focus on plating small high-tech devices such as resistors and capacitors on circuit boards, and it wants to help create very small batteries that can be used by microsystems, which are tiny machines the size of several red blood cells that can sense, think, transmit and move in microscopic environments.
"Unlike many other companies, we self-funded enough for our proof of concept," Griego
said."We raised private equity funds and founder contributions of $400,000."
If the company gets venture capital funding, it plans to create a factory in Albuquerque that can produce 100 metric tons of powder a year.It also would grow from a seven-person operation to about 33 in the next year, Griego
"We have a significant market entrance because the rechargeable battery market is also starting to look at fuel-cell battery options," he
said."We want to form alliances with Japanese companies, and we think we have a very good position in both markets."
(Contact Sue Vorenberg of The Tribune in Albuquerque, N.M., at svorenberg(at)abqtrib.com)