Nano4EARTH Roundtable Discussion on Coatings, Lubricants, Membranes, and Other Interface Technologies

July 6, 2023
Online and L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C.

The Nano4EARTH roundtable discussion on nanotechnology-enabled coatings, lubricants, membranes, and other interface technologies aims to identify fundamental knowledge gaps, needs, and opportunities at the interface of materials, technologies, and industrial processes. These needs could have a near-term impact on energy efficiency, sustainable development, and climate change. The moderated discussion will tackle all aspects of the topic – ranging from exciting R&D opportunities to commercialization challenges – by featuring a small group of experts from different sectors and backgrounds.

This roundtable is a critical part of the Nano4EARTH National Nanotechnology Challenge, which aims to leverage recent investments in understanding and controlling matter at the nanoscale to develop technologies and industries that address climate change. Nano4EARTH focuses on facilitating opportunities for members of the nanotechnology community to convene, collaborate, and share resources. Nano4EARTH also strives to provide mechanisms that support technology development and commercialization of nanotechnology-enabled climate solutions.

The topic of this roundtable was identified at the Nano4EARTH kick-off workshop (summary readout and video archive) as a particularly promising area that could have an impact in a short time frame (four years or less). This roundtable is the first of four.


Online and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office: Suite 8001, 470 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024. Directions are available here.


Click here to download the discussion summary.


July 6, 2023
9:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Time ET


9 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.

Check-in and light refreshments

9:50 a.m.

Welcome, overview, and framing of the discussion

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Identifying technical knowledge gaps, needs, and opportunities

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.


1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Matching needs with opportunities

3 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.



Todd Hawkins
President and CEO,
Tesla NanoCoatings

Scott Clendening
Nanofab Director & Atomic Layer Processing Group Leader, Intel

Ali Erdemir
Halliburton Chair in Engineering Professor, Texas A&M University

Jun Qu
Group Leader Surface Engineering & Tribology, Distinguished R&D Staff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Michael Tsapatsis
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Peter Frischmann
CEO & Co-Founder,

Bara Cola
CEO and Founder,

(Other Interfaces)
Jenna Abelli
Principal, Anzu Partners
(Technology Development and Investment)
Rosemary Cox-Galhotra
Manager of Technology Management, Breakthrough Energy Fellows, Breakthrough Energy

(Technology Development and Investment)
Joshua Speros
Investment Manager,
BASF Venture Capital

(Technology Development and Investment)


Coatings, lubricants, membranes, and other interface technologies are ubiquitous throughout industrial processes and products. Their reimagination, optimization, and thoughtful selection could increase efficiency and overall sustainability. The goal of this roundtable is to identify the most pressing near-term knowledge gaps, needs, and opportunities that deserve our attention as we look to accelerate the impact of these technologies. For example, buildings are responsible for around 40% of carbon dioxide emissions. Different nanotechnology-enabled coatings (e.g., thermochromic, among many others) are used to coat windows and decrease the sun's thermal impact on buildings while allowing for light to get in and decreasing cooling and electricity needs.

Vision: nanotechnology as a catalyst for innovation in key areas and industries that could help accelerate progress toward climate change mitigation and sustainable development goals in the short term


  • Identify key knowledge gaps, needs, and opportunities.
  • Identify approaches, tools, questions, and needs to address the knowledge gaps.
  • Identify the most impactful ideas in the short term based on strategic opportunities, scalability, and commercial potential.

Suggested reading


Maria Fernanda Campa