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Sawyer has developed unique hydrothermal synthesis capabilities in the area of micron and sub-micron sized inorganic crystalline powders, ceramics and coatings.. Our specialized technology is ideally suited for achieving unique combinations of physical and chemical properties for powders over a wide variety of materials used in numerous applications. Specifically, hydrothermal synthesis offers the ability to simultaneously control chemical composition, phase purity, particle size and morphology enabling combinations of these characteristics that are difficult if not impossible to achieve using other synthesis techniques. Our installed capabilities enable both the development and commercial production of materials in accordance with customer specifications.

Sawyer demonstrated these hydrothermal capabilities in the development of custom-engineered advanced materials such as:

  • Thin films/coatings on metals
  • Metal aluminate spinnels (ZnAl2O4, etc)
  • Abrasives (a-alumina)
  • Zeolites
  • Nano sized materials
  • Cosmetics additives
  • Catalyst carriers/supports
  • Catalysts

Our recent spectacular successes in commercial development of new products include:

  • Coating technology for complex shapes of metals using pure phase a-alumina, or a-alumina-based composites resulting in superior stresses and adhesion compared to other thin films.

  • Nanosized zinc oxide powders with controlled morphology and superior defect structure

  • High-purity a-alumina supports with tailored surface area, pore volume and pore size distributions

  • Zeolites L, NaP1, beta, mordenite, ZSM-5, and others

  • High purity a-alumina powders with a broad variety of sizes, morphologies (incl. fibers), and chemical compositions (dopants)

  • a-alumina/ transition aluminas composites

  • Specialty aluminas, i.e. a-alumina/boehmite composite powders

  • Wide range of metal oxides and metal aluminates

We have capabilities to grow single crystals, powders, fibers, monolithic ceramic bodies, and coatings of most of the inorganic materials, primarily oxides. Combinatorial studies under industrial conditions and doping elements into the lattice of a carrier (alumina, silica, etc.) are two specific strengths we strategically utilize for advanced materials research and development.

Further, we have developed the ability to manufacture ultra-high purity doped and undoped a-alumina powders in a wide range of grain sizes, including nominal particle sizes as low as 100 nm. By hydrothermally synthesizing corundum powders instead of traditional ceramic powder production methods we are able to offer lower costs, 100% phase purity, good morphology with well-faceted crystals and tight particle size distribution. Our alumina powders can be used as abrasives for lapping and polishing, refractories, fillers and suspensions for a broad range of applications.


Several advantages of Sawyer's hydrothermal materials synthesis technology include:

  • Low synthesis temperatures - under 500°C, often < 200°C

  • Low aggregation level of powders and agglomeration levels

  • Excellent control of crystallite size and morphology

  • Unique defect structure, different than in high-temperature techniques

  • High purity - hydrothermal growth is a self-purifying process

  • Scale-up issues practically eliminated

  • One-step processing with limited or no required high-temperature annealing and/or milling

Data Sheets

a-alumina whiskers View
 AA powders View
Abrasive powders View
Coatings View
Corundum all sizes SEM+PSD final View
Fine alpha alumina coating on 316 stainless steel View
Nanosized AA powders View
Nanosized powders general View
Zinc oxide nanosized powders View
Technical Papers  
Synthesis of potassium niobiate (KNbO3) thin films by low-temperature hydrothermal epitaxy View
Systematic study of hydrothermal synthesis of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanosized powders with superior UV attenuation View
Hydrothermal synthesis of alpha-alumina (a-Al203) & ceramic supports View
Hydrothermal synthesis of materials-review View
Hydrothermal synthesis of alpha alumina (a-Al203) powders –study of the processing variables and growth mechanisms View
Hydrothermally synthesized alpha alumina nano-materials with controlled morphologies and high thermal stability View
Ordered mesoporous carbon/a-alumina nanosheets composites View
Alpha alumina (a-Al2O3) porous supports View
Alpha alumina (a-Al2O3) powders View








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