Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
Graphene Updates
Blog Home All Blogs
The latest news and information on all aspects of graphene research, development, application and commercialization.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: graphene  2D materials  Sensors  Batteries  nanomaterials  University of Manchester  CVD  First Graphene  electronics  Li-ion batteries  coatings  graphene oxide  graphene production  The Graphene Flagship  Applied Graphene Materials  Carbon Nanotubes  composites  Energy Storage  Graphite  Haydale  Graphene Flagship  Healthcare  3D Printing  Battery  optoelectronics  polymers  Versarien  Adrian Potts  Andre Geim  biosensors 

Graphene in Electronic Circuits

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Ever since graphene was discovered in 2004, researchers around the world have been working to develop commercially scalable applications for this high-performance material.

Graphene is 100 to 300 times stronger than steel at the atomic level and has a maximum electrical current density orders of magnitude greater than that of copper, making it the strongest, thinnest and, by far, the most reliable electrically conductive material on the planet. It is, therefore, an extremely promising material for interconnects, the fundamental components that connect billions of transistors on microchips in computers and other electronic devices in the modern world.

For over two decades, interconnects have been made of copper, but that metal encounters fundamental physical limitations as electrical components that incorporate it shrink to the nanoscale. “As you reduce the dimensions of copper wires, their resistivity shoots up,” said Kaustav Banerjee, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Resistivity is a material property that is not supposed to change, but at the nanoscale, all properties change.”

As the resistivity increases, copper wires generate more heat, reducing their current-carrying capacity. It’s a problem that poses a fundamental threat to the $500 billion semiconductor industry. Graphene has the potential to solve that and other issues. One major obstacle, though, is designing graphene micro-components that can be manufactured on-chip, on a large scale, in a commercial foundry.

“Whatever the component, be it inductors, interconnects, antennas or anything else you want to do with graphene, industry will move forward with it only if you find a way to synthesize graphene directly onto silicon wafers,” Banerjee said. He explained that all manufacturing processes related to the transistors, which are made first, are referred to as the ‘front end.’ To synthesize something at the back-end — that is, after the transistors are fabricated — you face a tight thermal budget that cannot exceed a temperature of about 500 degrees Celsius. If the silicon wafer gets too hot during the back-end processes employed to fabricate the interconnects, other elements that are already on the chip may get damaged, or some impurities may start diffusing, changing the characteristics of the transistors.

Now, after a decade-long quest to achieve graphene interconnects, Banerjee’s lab has developed a method to implement high-conductivity, nanometer-scale doped multilayer graphene (DMG) interconnects that are compatible with high-volume manufacturing of integrated circuits. A paper describing the novel process was named one of the top papers at the 2018 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM),  from more than 230 that were accepted for oral presentations. It also was one of only two papers included in the first annual “IEDM Highlights” section of an issue of the journal Nature Electronics.

Banerjee first proposed the idea of using doped multi-layer graphene at the 2008 IEDM conference and has been working on it ever since. In February 2017 he led the experimental realization of the idea by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) of multilayer graphene at a high temperature, subsequently transferring it to a silicon chip, then patterning the multilayer graphene, followed by doping. Electrical characterization of the conductivity of DMG interconnects down to a width of 20 nanometers established the efficacy of the idea that was proposed in 2008. However, the process was not “CMOS-compatible” (the standard industrial-scale process for making integrated circuits), since the temperature of CVD processes far exceed the thermal budget of back-end processes.

To overcome this bottleneck, Banerjee’s team developed a unique pressure-assisted solid-phase diffusion method for directly synthesizing a large area of high-quality multilayer graphene on a typical dielectric substrate used in the back-end CMOS process. Solid-phase diffusion, well known in the field of metallurgy and often used to form alloys, involves applying pressure and temperature to two different materials that are in close contact so that they diffuse into each other.

Banerjee’s group employed the technique in a novel way. They began by depositing solid-phase carbon in the form of graphite powder onto a deposited layer of nickel metal of optimized thickness. Then they applied heat (300 degrees Celsius) and nominal pressure to the graphite powder to help break down the graphite. The high diffusivity of carbon in nickel allows it to pass rapidly through the metal film.

How much carbon flows through the nickel depends on its thickness and the number of grains it holds. “Grains” refer to the fact that deposited nickel is not a single-crystal metal, but rather a polycrystalline metal, meaning it has areas where two single-crystalline regions meet each other without being perfectly aligned. These areas are called grain boundaries, and external particles — in this case, the carbon atoms — easily diffuse through them. The carbon atoms then recombine on the other surface of the nickel closer to the dielectric substrate, forming multiple graphene layers.

Banerjee’s group is able to control the process conditions to produce graphene of optimal thickness. “For interconnect applications, we know how many layers of graphene are needed,” said Junkai Jiang, a Ph.D. candidate in Banerjee’s lab and lead author of the 2018 IEDM paper. “So we optimized the nickel thickness and other process parameters to obtain precisely the number of graphene layers we want at the dielectric surface. “Subsequently, we simply remove the nickel by etching so that what’s left is only very high-quality graphene — virtually the same quality as graphene grown by CVD at very high temperatures,” he continued. “Because our process involves relatively low temperatures that pose no threat to the other fabricated elements on the chip, including the transistors, we can make the interconnects right on top of them.”

UCSB has filed a provisional patent on the process, which overcomes the obstacles that, until now, have prevented graphene from replacing copper. Bottom line: graphene interconnects help to create faster, smaller, lighter, more flexible, more reliable and more cost-effective integrated circuits. Banerjee is currently in talks with industry partners interested in potentially licensing this CMOS-compatible graphene synthesis technology, which could pave the way for what would be the first 2D material to enter the mainstream semiconductor industry.

Tags:  2D materials  CVD  Graphene  Graphite  Junkai Jiang  Kaustav Banerjee  Semiconductor  UC Santa Barbara 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Gratomic Launches its first production of graphene from Gratomic Graphite Derived Product

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, May 30, 2019
Updated: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Gratomic Inc. has announced its first graphene from Gratomic Graphite derived product. Gratomic graphenes derived from Gratomic graphite mined from its Aukum Mine located in Namibia are being used to manufacture Graphene enabled conductive inks and pastes. The inks and pastes (to the best of the Company's knowledge) are amongst the most conductive carbon inks and pastes currently available within the global market place.

The Gratink product is formulated specifically to meet the needs of the printed flexible electronics and EMI shielding markets. Electromagnetic interference (EMI), sometimes referred to as radio-frequency interference (RFI) is a disturbance generated by an external source that affects an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction.

The Gratink and paste applications based on surface modified nano graphene "enablers" offer a product for market penetration into the information technology sector that is now an important aspect of our everyday life.  

The Gratomic Gratink product delivers a functional print and coat component solution.

Due to a multiple range of potential applications including antennas, RFID tags, transistors, sensors, and wearable electronics, the development of printed conductive inks and coatings for electronic applications is growing rapidly. Currently available conductive inks exploit metal nanoparticles to realize electrical conductivity.

Traditionally, metallic nanoparticles are normally derived from silver, copper and platinum based enablers which can be expensive and easily oxidized.

The Gratink product is designed to fill a gap in both the flexible printed electronics and EMI market space where metallic nanoparticle solutions are unnecessary.

Gratink is initially available to meet customer printing and coating preference specifications for R&D purposes with orders available in one-kilo packages.

Following satisfactory customer preproduction qualification, the products can then be varied so they are suitable for printing and coating in bulk quantities formulated to specification and made available as required in 10's to 100's of kilos or tonnes.

Please note - Inks and pastes are prepared for all currently available methods of printing and coating with the exception of ink jet printing.

Sheldon Inwentash Co-CEO of Gratomic commented. "Gratomic is delighted to offer their first product of a planned product range based on the Company's graphene derived from graphite mined from its Aukum Mine."

Gratink is a collaborative development product formulated in tandem with Perpetuus Carbon Technology Wales UK and Gratomic Inc.

***

Are you interested in developing graphene enhanced products or applications?

Find a suitable application partner / supplier through The Graphene Council 

Tags:  coatings  Graphene  Graphite  Gratomic  nanoparticles  Perpetuus Carbon Technologies  Sensors  Sheldon Inwentash 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Gratomic Announces Signing of a Definitive Graphite Concentrate Sales Agreement and Exclusive Marketing Agent for Continental Europe

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Gratomic announces the entering into of a definitive off take agreement for graphite concentrate to be produced from its Aukam Graphite mine in Namibia.

As part of the Graphite Concentrate sales Agreement (Sales Agreement), Gratomic has appointed Phu Sumika ("PSK") as its exclusive marketing agent, in continental Europe, for the sale of graphite concentrate to the refractory, lubricant and battery Markets.

Pursuant to the Sales Agreement, PSK will purchase up to 7,500 Dry Metric Tonnes annually, for a period of five years from the date commercial production commences at Aukam. The contract contemplates the sales of graphitic product ranging from 80% Carbon to 99.9% Carbon at prices ranging between US$500-US$2800 per Metric Tonne (depending on grade, moisture content and industry use).

Gratomic is satisfied with the high value range of product pricing for the selected markets. Gratomic has delivered PSK with samples grading 92%, 97%, 99% and 99.9% over the past 3 months for testing in a verity of end uses. The results now positively match buyer specifications and will qualify the sales agreement for deliveries going forward.

Aukam Production Update

Gratomic has recently consulted with a processing expert in Toronto and has been able to produce several batches of Battery Grade Graphite grading over 99.9% the Company is currently compiling a budget to integrate the suggestive plant adjustment onto its processing circuit within the next 3 months. This will allow the company to commence with the production and sale of battery grade Graphite targeted towards the rapidly growing battery industry mainly being dominated by the increase of demand for electric vehicles worldwide.

In addition Gratomic expects the delivery of the final components of its Aukam processing plant within the next 49 days, this will complete the construction of the first phase of our Processing facility and bring it up to a 3 metric tonne per hour Processing Capacity.

The company continues its focus on further developing and commercializing its Graphene Processing capacity in wales through its partnership with Perpetuus carbon technologies and anticipates soft launching its Gratomic fuel efficient tire in the summer. Gratomic has recently prepared an additional 2 tonnes of Graphite concentrate which it will be shipping to wales in the coming days for converting into high quality Graphenes targeted for the use and development of several high value Graphene applications.

Gratomic's CO-CEO Arno Brand stated, "The entering into of the sales agreement and exclusive marketing agreement with Phu Sumika is the culmination of several years of work, Gratomic is now well positioned and ready to monetize its operations through graphite sales. We thank our loyal shareholders for their support throughout  the years and their contributions in helping us in commercialize the Aukam Mine"

Tags:  Arno Brand  Battery  Graphene  Graphite  Gratomic 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in the UK

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Friday, April 5, 2019
Updated: Friday, April 5, 2019

Emerging technologies such as graphene are being investigated by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in the UK for their potential to improve decommissioning of nuclear sites.

The Challenge

To identify how graphene, an emerging technology, could improve delivery of NDA’s mission.

The Solution

Review the properties of graphene including the latest developments and areas for potential deployment.

Technology Review : Graphene – a form of carbon consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice with unique chemical and physical properties.

Expected Benefits: Raising awareness of new emerging technology across the NDA Group and supply chain.

The NDA published a report on its findings and research over the period of 2016 - 2018: "Graphene and its use in nuclear decommissioning", produced in collaboration with NSG Environmental, the University of Manchester and the National Physical Laboratory

Highlights:

Graphene’s chemical and physical properties are unique:

- one of the thinnest but also strongest materials

- conducts heat better than all other materials

- conducts electricity

- is optically transparent but so dense that it is impermeable to gases

Developments in graphene-based technology have been rapid in a number of areas, including advanced electronics, water filtration and high-strength materials. NDA identified graphene as an emerging technology that could be useful to improve delivery of its mission.

NDA carried out a technology review to compare the properties and potential uses of graphene against the challenges facing the UK in decommissioning its earliest nuclear sites. The opportunities identified included:

  • Advanced materials: Graphene-doped materials could help to immobilise nuclear wastes.
  • Composites incorporating graphene could be used in the construction of stronger buildings or containers for storing nuclear materials.
  • Cleaning up liquid wastes: Graphene-based materials could absorb or filter radioactive elements, helping to clean up spills or existing radioactive wastes.
  • Sensors: Graphene in sensors could improve the detection of radiation or monitor for the signs of corrosion in containers.
  • Batteries: Graphene could produce smaller, longer-lasting batteries that would enable robots to operate for longer in contaminated facilities.

NDA also assessed the potential limitations in graphene’s use to provide a balanced assessment.

The issues identified included:
- cost
- scale-up
- environmental concerns
- lack of standardization
- knowledge regarding radiation tolerance

The report was shared with technical experts across the NDA group, published online and summarised in the Nuclear Institute’s journal: Nuclear Futures. As the technology moves on from early-stage research, NDA and its businesses are continuing to monitor developments, such as the recently opened Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC), with the aim of supporting graphene-based technologies and accelerating their uptake within the nuclear decommissioning sector.

NDA is progressing further projects investigating the potential of other emerging technologies. Engagement continues with academia and industry to identify innovations that could improve delivery of the mission.

Tags:  Andre Geim  Batteries  Graphene  Graphite  Konstantin Novoselov  Sensors  University of Manchester 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Talga Anode Outperforms Commercial Li-ion Cells In Electric Vehicle Endurance Test

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, March 28, 2019
Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2019
Talga Resources, is pleased to announce further results from development of its active graphite anode product for lithium-ion batteries, Talnode™-C.

Talnode-C is currently undergoing full-cell qualification with a range of technical and commercial partners as it progresses through validation processes. In new tests conducted by IV Electrics, formerly known as Italian Volt and manufacturer of the “Lacama” electric motorcycle, Li-ion batteries fabricated with Talnode-C anodes were subjected to benchtop tests designed to replicate extreme real world conditions and ensure high performance of the Lacama battery pack.

One of these tests is named ‘Stelvio’, after the famously steep road through the Italian Alps and simulates driving up a mountain at high speed. This cyclic test checks the ability of a battery to efficiently collect fast charge regenerative current (from braking) after a high-power discharge (acceleration) in low temperature conditions. Results in running time represents battery cell performance before limits in voltage drop or cell temperature force the end of the test.

Results show that Talnode-C containing battery cells outperform the endurance of market leading commercial cells by up to 36%. Furthermore, the tests confirm the fast charge, high power, and low temperature properties of Talnode-C anodes translate well to the full cell-level.

In effect this means that a battery pack manufactured with Talnode-C may need less thermal management and materials, reducing cost and weight, while increasing energy density (and therefore driving range) and safety of the battery pack.

Talga Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: “We are delighted that Talga’s Li-ion battery anode material has proven itself again in tests for a premium electric vehicle manufacturer such as IV Electrics and their high performance Lacama. We look forward to further development of our premium range of Li-ion battery products utilising Talga anode material technology and the unique intrinsic properties of our Swedish mineral resources.”

Talga staff will be presenting recently published performance results of TalnodeTM products at the International Battery Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on 28 March Australian time.

Tags:  Graphene  Graphite  IV Electrics  Li-ion batteries  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Gratomic Submits Mining License Application

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, March 4, 2019

Gratomic Inc. today announced that it has submitted a full mining license application to the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The company has submitted its application for Mining License 215 (M L215). The License area falls within the proximity of the Aukam Processing Plant and the Graphite bearing shear zone for a total of 5002 hectares (5002 ha). The mining license was the last step required for the company to go into full production. The license submission is timed strategically with the construction of Gratomic's onsite processing plant located at the Aukam Graphite Mine in Namibia and in conjunction with the recently announced long-term Graphene supply agreement with Vittoria Tires and Gratomic's partner Perpetuus Advanced Materials.

Gratomic’s CO-CEO Arno Brand stated, “This marks a significant milestone in the company’s  path to commercializing its Aukam Graphite mine, through this submission of our mining license we are now able to start producing graphite from our Aukam Graphite mine at full capacity”

Tags:  Arno Brand  Graphene  Graphite  Gratomic  Perpetuus Advanced Materials  Vittoria 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

James Briggs to launch graphene enhanced Hycote range using AGM's material

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, February 28, 2019

James Briggs have successfully completed their Graphene products first production batch, which is a significant milestone on the path to commercial realisation.

Extensive testing has demonstrated repeated and outstanding improvements in anti-corrosion performance for their automotive aerosol primer. JBL plan to launch the new range of graphene enhanced anti-corrosion aerosols under their Hycote brand.


Graphene is a single atom layer of graphite. Its ability to form hexagonal lattice structure gives it exceptional properties in terms of strength, electricity and heat conduction.

These single atom lattice structures can stack to form layers. In coatings this lattice structure gives excellent barrier properties and in the case of our specially formulated primer, this results in excellent salt spray resistance and therefore give superior anti-corrosive performance when compared to a similar product without graphene.

Applied Graphene Materials is the supplier off graphene to James Briggs for this product. 

Tags:  Applied Graphene Materials  Graphene  Graphite  James Briggs 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Talga Resources: From Raw Material to Functionalized Graphene for Cutting Edge Applications

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Tuesday, August 15, 2017

 

There are many different ways in which a graphene supplier can find its way into the marketplace. They might start off as research contractors in the field and discover a process for producing graphene that they believe has a competitive edge.

Another route is to start off in the mining of graphite—the material from which graphene is synthesized—and look into new avenues for exploiting their product.

One company that has followed this path is Australia-based Talga Resources, which mines its high quality graphite deposits in Northern Sweden and processes that ore into graphene that should be suitable for a wide range of potential applications.

Talga recently joined the growing list of The Graphene Council’s corporate partners at which time we took the opportunity to speak to Talga’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Thompson, to ask him more about the direction of the company and their perspective on the issues facing the growing graphene marketplace.

 Q: Do you consider Talga Resources a mining company or an advanced materials company? Why one and not the other?

We see ourselves as an advanced materials company. This is because the majority of our output is functionalized and formulated graphene additive products produced in-house, and utilizes our own 100% owned technology in the product not just raw products.

Has this perception changed over time? Yes, the separation occurred first as we started developing our own processing technology in 2014 and moved to product development in 2016. Mining is now just one of our competitive advantages in owning our complete supply chain. We also have a range of valuable non-carbon mineral assets that can be developed such as cobalt and copper that are also part of the technology metals and clean-tech supply chain.

Q: What kind of graphene are you producing, i.e. how is manufactured and what applications is best suited for? 

We electrochemically exfoliate our graphite ore directly into pristine graphene nanoplatelets and a few layers graphene, not graphene oxide.  We do in-house functionalization then to create dispersion and product performance, such as conductivity or adhesion. But it is a tunable process so we can produce a range of graphene particle morphologies.

We are using these morphologies successfully in a variety of coatings, batteries, composites and concrete products. Obviously these are large volume current markets where our economics and scale can provide the material solution, as compared to CVD type applications. 

Q: Are you functionalizing the graphene in any way?

Yes, we do in-house chemical functionalization.

Q: How far up the value chain to ultimately expect to be moving in the graphene market, i.e. do you foresee you producing actual devices from graphene or will you continue to supply others with graphene to make products?

We can supply raw or basic value-added products directly, but tend away from retailing and towards formulated solutions and product systems, that can be master batches or incorporated into a current product process line. 

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge in the graphene market at large and how does that translate into challenges for your business?

Time. The biggest challenge is accelerating the testing of products with large companies to convince the rest of industry to make the change to incorporate a new material. Down the road will be process controls for quality and consistency, and the perennial problem of lack of investor and business knowledge of how graphene really works in an application.

Q: You are an Australian-based company with mining operations in Sweden. Are you producing the graphene in Europe or Australia?

All graphene is produced in Europe, with bulk raw materials made at our test process facility in Rudolstadt, Germany and the UK subsidiary based in Cambridge responsible for product development.

Q: What sort of advantages does having operations on two continents provide you and what are the challenges?

The advantage of having our downstream and upstream processes separated is that they can be more flexible and faster to develop.  The challenge is that they are spread out but they will be consolidated more once the first commercial plant is built in Sweden.

Q: What sort of efforts are needed for the graphene market as a whole to improve uptake by the various application markets that are impacted by it, i.e. standardization, dissemination of information, industry advocacy?

I believe graphene producers should do less raw supply and more value-added or advanced prototype products.  With current market relevance and pricing it will improve uptake faster than regulation, standards and info. Proof of performance at scales bigger than the lab will lead faster to commercial outcomes than providing raw materials to end users without skills to incorporate it.

Q: How do you see the graphene business evolving over the next five years and what do you aim at making Talga Resources role in that business? 

The graphene business will undergo a great deal of failures and M & A activity while commercialization grows in the background with a few key companies. Most will migrate from raw material and basic dispersions to more formulated value-added additives targeting specific products in collaboration with industry. This will be on current market products, not futuristic aspirational products. Talga is already ahead on this path and aims to be a very profitable and global leader in graphene enabled products well within 5 years.

Tags:  graphene production  graphite 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)