Thursday, September 23, 2010

Strategic Partnership with Cornell University

We've mentioned before that we're working with Darrell Schlom and Cornell University, but we haven't said much about what we're doing.

Our partnership with Professor Schlom and Cornell is all about building a specialized sensor and meeting the unique needs of the MBE community. Our CTO, Scott Grimshaw, has led the charge in high temperature sensing and remains an advocate for designing quartz-based measurement and control systems for the unique needs of high temperature processes (>90C). Professor Schlom, like Colnatec, is willing to adopt new technologies which allow him to push past current thinking and beyond existing technical barriers to solve problems no one else is able to.

This work is driven by the requirement that atom by atom fabrication of electronic devices needs ultra precise analytical tools to control those processes. Colnatec has chosen to develop instrumentation to meet the demands of the next generation materials research and electronic device manufacture. With Cornell we are building the highest sensitivity and stability thin film measurement sensor ever made. Future work will involve the construction of an instrument capable of measuring single atom depositions on crystal surfaces.

The speculative and high risk nature of these efforts can only be possible through working with forward-thinking organizations like the Nano Fab facility at Cornell and pioneering researchers such as Darrell Schlom. Colnatec already provides Schlom's team with our patented, super-stable RC crystal, and will deliver a first generation high temperature sensor head based on Schlom's specifications by Q4.

If your organization needs unique thinking to solve a complex problem, please contact us at

Partnership with ASU Engineering Research Center

Yesterday we spent the afternoon with ASU and several of their research partners--Princeton University, North Carolina A&TSU, to name two--plus a host of industry partners, like Raytheon, Sharp, Texas Instruments, Barrow Neurological Institute and Mayo Clinic, to name a few, to sell the National Science Foundation on funding a Center for Flexible Systems Engineering Research Center here in Arizona. We are a small piece of a very large plan, but the small business partners are key to taking the research ideas into the marketplace.

We're proud to say we're involved, and we very much look forward--with great hope that it happens--to working with all the partners on designing, building and COMMERCIALIZING some cutting edge products!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Need to hire very soon

We're hiring! Seeking Manufacturing Tech: HS grad w/some college, reliable, non-smoking to work w/small pieces in fast-paced production environment $10/hr, no benefits. Must be reliable, will be trained. 30 day probationary period. Resumes to

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Work of Darrell Schlom at Cornell University

If you've been following our tweets or Facebook page, you know we recently visited Darrell Schlom at Cornell University to discuss designing a specialized sensor for their MBE system. It's difficult to tell all that Darrell's been involved in over his illustrious career, but he shared some links about what's made him a leading researcher in the field that I share below, so you can check him out yourself. Besides, a little more press never hurts! =)

We're very excited at the work we'll be doing together. A press release is forthcoming.

Chemistry World

German National Radio (Deutschlandfunk)

Small Times

Science Daily



Bioscience Technology



PC Pro



Cornell Chronicle

We've hired an intern!

Colnatec is proud to welcome Cristian Davila, an engineering student at ASU's Polytech campus, as our new intern. In the early days we expect him to work a small number of hours on research projects, but with his numerous talents in product design and engineering, I suspect we'll see him adding hours and contributing significantly to ongoing projects. Welcome, Cristian!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Seeking Intern for Solar Cell experiments

We are looking for a 3rd or 4th year college student in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, materials science or the like to run experiments for our principal scientist, Scott Grimshaw, in our Gilbert, AZ office on a part time basis for 6-7 months, beginning immediately. Work will be focused on our DOE grant for a self-cleaning sensor used in the manufacture of thin film solar cells. Please contact us at if interested in applying. We may be able to get ASU credit, and we can pay a small stipend. Employment opportunities available if Phase II funding is achieved.

The work will be cutting edge nanotechnology, and we are collaborating with other major universities, such as Cornell and Purdue, as well as major players in thin film photovoltaic manufacturing around the world. Spread the word!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Colnatec gets published in Go Gilbert Magazine!

Here's a link to the magazine article online. The only way to obtain a printed copy, however, is to visit a local grocery store, like AJ's or Fry's. I'm trying to find some additional copies for friends and relatives, so if you get one mailed to you, please let me know!

Here's a pic from the photo shoot (photo by Carl Schultz)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

In the Gilbert Republic newspaper


Sensor firm gets federal grant

Gilbert-based ColnaTec LLC, a designer, developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art sensors and electronic instrumentation used in the production of thin-film solar cells, has been awarded a $100,000 U.S. Department of Energy research grant to develop a new breed of industrial sensor.

"The ColnaTec sensor system will improve manufacturing efficiency and lower overall costs by eliminating the need for multiple backup systems, ensuring reliable coating thickness, extending production run times and reducing castoffs," the firm said in a release.

ColnaTec CEO Wendy Jameson said, "As Arizona and the Southwest continue to embrace alternative energy sources and applications, it is vital we continue to be on the forefront of the technology to ensure it is cost-efficient and practical from the manufacturing side of the business."


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gilbert Energy Forum July 1, 2010

We've been invited to exhibit and would like to invite friends of Colnatec to join us tomorrow evening. It's a free event. Here's the information:

Energy Forum
Sponsored by the Town of Gilbert

Date/Time: July 1st, Thursday | 7- 8:30 p.m.
Location: Council Chambers | 50 East Civic Center Drive | Gilbert, Arizona

Part One (7-7:20 p.m.)
• Overview of Town initiatives related to energy conservation
• Highlights of Gilbert energy companies

Part Two (7:20-8:10 p.m.)
Special Guest Speaker: L. Douglas Smoot, Professor Emeritus, Dean Emeritus, Energy Consultant
Energy & Climate Change
Meeting the energy needs of our country in a secure, clean and cost effective way is a major national challenge. It has become far more difficult with international concerns over global warming and climate change. This illustrated presentation will consider the challenges of meeting America’s energy needs while addressing climate change and how they are interrelated. Potential energy sources will be identified and their timeliness for use will be compared. Five commonly held misconceptions regarding energy sources and climate change will be discussed and possible causes and questions of climate change will be noted. Win-win directions for our country will be identified. An effort will be made to present this complicated information in a general, understandable way.

Part Three (8:10-8:30 p.m.)
• Questions/Answers

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What a week!

What a week we've had! First, Scott and son, Phil, drove a truck loaded with our production equipment from Greenville, SC to Gilbert. A long, hot journey to say the least. We got it all unloaded and set up, and within hours, we were in full production. We had a minor glitch when a chiller went down, but fortunately there's Chiller City in Mesa, and they just happened to have a rebuilt chiller in stock and ready to go for a reasonable price. We stopped by after hours to pick it up and we were back in business.

Then, we did some follow up interviews with office manager candidates and found Tina who started 2 days later, just in time for process walkthroughs on our ERP system. She's taking to it like a duck to water! Tina mentioned a friend, and while we really didn't think we were quite ready to hire a production person yet, we interviewed her and liked her so much for the manufacturing tech position, we called her back an hour after she left to offer her the job! Welcome to Colnatec, Sheryl! She's still working at another job so won't start for us until Scott returns and can train her. We're all really looking forward to it.

So, not only did we hire two employees, move gear and start production, begin process walkthroughs on NetSuite, our cloud-based ERP system that we go live with on July 1st (and have been configuring since April), we also shipped our first products from Arizona! In fact, we shipped several. It's now time to turn this engine on and really get her humming. Once our new hires are fully trained and in charge, it'll be "Katie bar the door" ;) We are ready to take on the world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Employee #1

Very exciting news! We've "hired" our first employee! Technically she will be working on a contract for a couple of weeks while we get all our ducks in a row, but her first task will be to hire herself...that is, put all the things in place to begin hiring, like setting up payroll, benefits and so on. I've started a long list of projects for her, so she'll no doubt have tons to keep her busy. Welcome aboard, Tina!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Article about Colnatec in the Phoenix Business Journal

Colnatec receives $100k to develop specialized thin-film sensor 

A Gilbert company received a $100,000 federal research grant last month for development of a sensor to help manufacture thin-film solar panels and displays.

The money from the U.S. Department of Energy will help ColnaTec LLC push its research to a more commercial stage. The company already is drawing interest from foreign companies, said co-founder and CEO Wendy Jameson.

“We’re going out to talk to (organic light-emitting diode) manufacturers in Korea,” she said. “The optics are [also] a big portion of what we’re doing, along with solar.”

Organic light-emitting diodes, known as OLEDs, are a small but growing force in the video display business. Their manufacturing methods are similar to those of thin-film solar modules, as both are made by placing materials on thin metals. [Follow link to read remainder of article]

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Sales Channel for 6 countries!

Today we inked an exclusive distributorship agreement with AcePlus Technology Services of Penang, Malaysia. They will be selling our crystal sensors, new hardware and electronics in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. We're thrilled to see our products making their way into new territories, and we're very happy to have a world class organization like AcePlus representing us!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hiring Office Manager

We are seeking an office manager with strong computer skills who can grow into a more robust position in our fast growing company. This person will be essential in managing operations while the founders are out of the office. Pay is $25-$35k DOE with rapid growth potential.

Answering phones from 8-5 M-F
Assisting in telephone-based sales calls
Assisting with marketing materials & other document preparation
Managing office supplies & materials
Entering data into our ERP system (sales & purchase orders, HR, billing)
Light bookkeeping
Managing some human resources functions
Reception, filing and other office duties as necessary

Must be comfortable with all MS Office applications and internet use. Must be organized and efficient.

Ability to work independently is important and experience in supervision is a plus. Entrepreneurial attitude is critical. We are willing to train and invest in the right person, and we are very generous with individuals who show strong commitment.

Send text-based resumes with introduction through our contact form, referencing the position. Please do not call. No recruiters.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Office Space & Sales Reps

Last Tuesday, May 4th, we officially took keys to our new office space at 511 W. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert, AZ 85233! It needs a little work still, but we're finishing up that build out this week with some plumbing and electrical work, plus a little clean up. Wednesday we had phones and internet installed, and today we received most of our furniture and began adding office equipment to get this baby humming. We two founders leave for Europe in just a few days to meet with some important customers and vendors, but we'll have friends tending the office for us.

On the same day we took office space we also obtained a verbal agreement for a sales rep that will cover the countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines and Singapore. Things are moving very quickly, and we expect to be in full production at the Gilbert facility by June 1!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Now Hiring

Hiring begins at Colnatec in Gilbert. Looking for qualified production technicians who want to grow with us. Current position available:

Manufacturing Technician
Technical production worker for startup electronic sensor company. Will be responsible initially for piece work manufacture of quartz crystal sensors using high vacuum thin film deposition. Processing includes wet chemical cleaning, electronic measurements, loading fixtures, packaging and operation of automatic coating equipment.

Requirements: Able to work with a minimum of supervision, basic knowledge of electronics, chemistry, statistical process control and manufacturing practices. Ability to write technical documents, use computers with proficiency, and understand international shipping/receiving practices. Two-year technical degree and entrepreneurial spirit highly desired. Background check required. Salary $25k - $35k DOE.

Position will likely grow into production management in less than 1 year; supervisory skills are a plus. Send resumes to No phone calls and no recruiters, please.

Colnatec Wins Phase I SBIR for "Self-Cleaning Process Control Sensor for Thin Film Solar Cell Manufacturing"

Firm will develop a new breed of industrial sensors for solar cells
GILBERT, Ariz. (May 11, 2010) – Gilbert-based ColnaTec LLC, a designer, developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art sensors and electronic instrumentation used in the production of thin film solar cells, has been awarded a $100,000 U.S. Department of Energy research grant to develop a new breed of industrial sensor specifically designed for thin film solar cell manufacturing.

ColnaTec was awarded the grant in late April and notes the technology under development is also applicable in such diverse environments as furnace processing, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), atomic layer deposition (ALD) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) manufacturing.

Thin film solar cells, or thin film photovoltaic (PV) cells, are one of the most promising and cost-effective means of generating solar electricity from sunlight. However, the manufacturing of these cells often requires critical, careful process controls in order to produce efficient and economically viable devices.

Current process control sensors that monitor the thickness of the thin film layers are not reliable enough to meet these demands and often fail as a result of high heat and/or excessive layer build-up.

ColnaTec will develop a “quartz crystal microbalance” (QCM) based process control sensor that incorporates uniquely engineered materials capable of operating in a hot process environment. This methodology offers more robust performance under all operating conditions and is 100 percent compatible with current control systems and instrumentation.

The ColnaTec sensor system will improve manufacturing efficiency and lower overall costs by eliminating the need for multiple back-up systems, ensuring reliable coating thickness, extending production run times and reducing castoffs. The ability to reduce costs – and reduce end-user prices – will enable wider adoption of solar cell use in energy production, ultimately contributing to a greener, cleaner environment.

“This is a very promising technology and we are proud to have received this significant grant from the U.S. Department of Energy,” said ColnaTec CEO Wendy Jameson. “As Arizona and the Southwest continue to embrace alternative energy sources and applications, it is vital we continue to be on the forefront of the technology to ensure it is cost efficient and practical from the manufacturing side of the business.”

About ColnaTec LLC
ColnaTec designs, develops and manufactures state-of-the-art sensors and electronic instrumentation used in the production of thin film solar cells, OLED displays (cameras, cell phones, monitors), optics, high speed electrical devices and semiconductor wafers. Through the use of our patented and patent-pending technologies, researchers and manufacturers are able to increase the conversion efficiency of photovoltaic films, increase production run times, lower costs, improve overall performance, and ultimately increase yield. ColnaTec sensor systems lead to a greener world, one atom at a time. For more information, please visit or contact Wendy Jameson,

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