Home Company Management

Cliff Morris

Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Cliff Morris is a successful CEO with a track record of leading, growing and positioning early-stage technology companies for success. Offering an extensive background in electronic materials technologies, Cliff has served as the founding CEO of privately held C3Nano since 2010, accelerating the growth of this venture capital-backed startup company specializing in the development of solution-based transparent conductive inks and films for consumer electronics manufacturers to replace indium tin oxide (ITO). Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the company manufactures in California and Changzhou, China.

Cliff’s executive leadership experience includes raising $41 million and spearheading multimillion-dollar joint development agreements and lucrative strategic partnerships with leading industry players. In his current CEO role, Cliff established the company’s operating strategy and business structure and has grown the company to 40+ employees while strategically building the supply chain, channel partners and customer base.

In addition to his M&A, deal-making and business development expertise, Cliff brings international experience gained from his five-year tenure as Director of European Operations in Paris, France, where he capitalized on new business opportunities, led business expansion, and solidified relationships with key European Fortune 500 clients for Sheldahl, a wholly owned subsidiary of Flextronics, Inc. Previously, Cliff held the role of Vice President, Business Development at NanoGram Corporation in Milpitas, CA, where he helped orchestrate the company’s acquisition by Teijin Chemicals in 2010.

In addition to sitting on the board at C3Nano, Cliff is a board of director at FLEx Lighting, a display film company.

Cliff earned his B.A. from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI and has an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH.

Ajay Virkar, PhD

Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer

Ajay completed BS in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois and his PhD under the guidance of Professor Zhenan Bao at Stanford University, where he investigated and improved the performance of thin film conductors and semiconductors. For his doctoral research, he was awarded Melvin P. Klein Award (from SLAC), and the Springer Prize, bestowed by the Springer Publishing Company.

In 2010, Ajay co-founded and launched C3Nano by winning several prestigious business plan contests including the $200,000 Grand Prize at the MIT Clean Energy Competition and the $50,000 NASA “Game Changer” Technology Award at the Rice Business Plan Competition.

Ajay has been an invited to speak about technology, business development, and entrepreneurship at multiple academic and industrial forums. He has more than twenty-five patents (issued or pending) related to materials for next generation and progressive electronics, and has co-authored eleven technical publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Tim Kingsbury

Chief Financial Officer

Tim comes with a wealth of knowledge in the high-performance coatings industry. For the past 25 years, he has led finance teams, HR, IT and legal operations at several privately held companies in polymers, advanced materials and cleantech. He is experienced growing, financing and exiting both privately held and publicly traded companies through, new product development, strategic acquisitions and restructuring.

At Matrix Materials, he led coatings and advanced materials manufacturing functions from development to finished customer products, managing several teams across accounting, management reporting, regulatory requirements, and logistics. For M2 Renewables, Tim drove growth, investment strategy, and capital raises, running teams in accounting, audit, legal, investor relations, contract management, outsourced manufacturing and financial budgeting.

Tim has led and supported negotiations through closing for several privately held company acquisitions by large strategic buyers. He also served as chief financial officer for a publicly traded international consulting firm.

Tim is a CPA; and he has taught college level accounting courses as an adjunct instructor. Tim graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Business Administration/Accounting, and he earned his MBA in Finance from the Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Xiaofeng Chen, PhD

VP of Business Operations

Dr. Xiaofeng Chen received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY in 2007 and his BS in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He has more than ten years of experience in research and development, manufacturing design, process development, project management and in product quality control of new products and technologies. Dr. Chen has expertise in R2R coating technologies including slot die, gravure, comma, etc. He has published eight research articles and holds two US patents. Currently Dr. Chen is responsible for ink manufacturing, R2R coating, process development and QA/QC at C3Nano.

Peter Li, PhD

Director of Product Development

Dr. Peter (Ying-Syi) Li received his PhD in 1995, and finished his postdoctoral training in 2000 from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He has more than twenty years in organic/dye synthesis and more than five years in nanomaterial synthesis experiences, including quantum dots, iron oxide, silver and gold nanoparticles, and metal nanowires.  He holds thirteen US patents and has published eleven research articles for ‘Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology,’ ‘Journal of Physical Chemistry,’ and the Society for Information Display, 2004 International Symposium. Peter is responsible for new ink formulation and nanomaterial synthesis.

Xiqiang Yang, PhD

Director of Research & Development

Dr. Xiqiang Yang received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he joined Eastman Kodak Company as a research scientist in the Kodak Research Laboratories. In 2012, he came to C3Nano as Senior Scientist and was appointed Director of R&D at C3Nano in 2014. Xiqiang has over 23 years of experience in industrial research in chemistry and materials and is co-inventor on over forty US patents.