UK based Innovative Carbon Limited ("ICL") today announces the availability of Graphene and Graphene Nano Platelets ("GNPs") in research, development and commercial quantities.
ICL through its specialist Research and Development subsidiary company Haydale has successfully proven that its patented "Split-Plasma" process can produce Graphene in single, bi and tri layers amongst friable stacks of Graphene referred to as Graphene Nano Platelets.
Graphene is a thin sheet of carbon, one atom thick. In 2010 Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov of Manchester University earned a Nobel Prize in Physics award for their work in separating Graphene from Graphite. It is extremely strong and an excellent conductor offering exciting potential use in many applications, from electronic devices to high-performance composite materials.
However, when it comes to producing and utilising Graphene on a large scale, industry and researchers on a global basis have been frustrated and held back by two major problems. Firstly large volume, reasonably priced quality materials were not available and secondly Graphene's tendency to aggregate or stack into piles causing a significant reduction in its potential surface area rendering it largely unusable.
Until recently Graphene production has been limited to outputs of grams per week. The method employed by the Nobel Prize winning team at Manchester University achieved the separation of individual layers of Graphene within a graphite crystal by utilising adhesive tape as a means of gradually separating the layers (known as the 'scotch tape method'). Since then several methods of graphene production have been researched including growing graphene on a substrate or using various chemical intercalation combinations and reductions. One method even involves a delicate nano engineering challenge splitting open carbon nanotubes to create graphene nano-ribbons.
Haydale has, for over seven years, been developing its unique, patented Split-Plasma process and has through extensive testing ensured that it can deliver a safer, reliable, cost effective, consistent source of Graphene to meet commercial needs. The technical data from these tests can be found at www.haydale.com .
The recent commissioning of an industrial scale Plasma reactor has now given Haydale the volume capability to become one of the world's leading producers of Graphene and GNPs. Haydale's Split-Plasma process significantly also overcomes the second problem as the plasma process negates the Van der Waals forces that hold the Graphene together in aggregates, decomposes any contaminants, and nano engineers the surface providing functionalities resulting in both ease of dispersion and covalent bonding within a customer's chosen matrix.
This Split-Plasma process has a number of major advantages over the competing methods for Graphene production. It is a robust, environmentally friendly, scaleable process that doesn't unduly damage the structural integrity of nanomaterials. It can be tailored to produce bespoke surface chemistry, enabling compatibility with most dispersions, inks and polymer systems. In fact the Split-Plasma method is so robust and flexible that Haydale is able to supply other functionalised products including premium Carbon Nano Tubes ("CNTs'), which are de-agglomerated and substantially free from post production residues such as metal catalysts .
Having now proven its technology, Haydale has started to offer a range of Graphenes and GNP's to the open market under the brand HDPlas.
Haydale, using its current facilities in Port Talbot, is now able to supply HDPlas from stock. A technical analysis sheet, which includes typical characterisation data and representational images, has been prepared and will accompany the goods so that the buyer can instantly see the product specification without needing to spend valuable time and resource in independent verification procedures.
The HDPlas products are listed with prices on www.HDPlas.com . In the United States of America HDPlas products are available via Haydale's exclusive sales agent Cheap Tubes ( www.cheaptubes.com ).
Haydale is now collaborating with several leading UK Universities who are assisting in the development of applications across a range of industries. Additionally Haydale is participating in joint development efforts with several global blue-chip companies across a broad spectrum of industries to develop new applications for its material outputs and Split-Plasma technology.
Commenting, Tony Belisario the ICL Chairman said:
"We have put many years of research work into achieving this real technological breakthrough and it gives me enormous pleasure to make this announcement today. There has been a substantial amount of focus on the benefits of Graphene and GNPs both through the UK Government and the EU Graphene Flagship initiative. Our University colleagues and industrial partners have all tried the HDPlas products and have been patiently waiting for us to achieve scaleable production. I believe we are now uniquely positioned to become the supplier of choice in the provision of Graphene, GNPs and related carbon materials that consistently meet customer needs and specifications."