Editorial Feature

A Preview of The Commercial Graphene Show 2015

By Alexander Chilton

Image Credit: Stuart Slavicky | Shutterstock.com

AZoNano will be reporting from the Commercial Graphene Show 2015 in Manchester, UK on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th April. We will be bringing you the highlights from exhibitors and speakers at the show. This article gives a preview of the key trends and talks to look out for over the two days of the show.  

This year the Commercial Graphene Show is being held at the Central Convention Complex in Manchester. With over 40 expert speakers giving a unique insight into the impact graphene will have over the next few years, the event promises to be one not to be missed by anyone in the graphene industry.

Manchester Graphene City

The city of Manchester is located in the north west of England and has a rich history of scientific and industrial achievements. Manchester is commonly regarded as the first industrialised city in the world and can boast impressive scientific discoveries including the electron in 1897 (J. J. Thomson), the proton in 1917 (Rutherford) and the neutron in 1934 (James Chadwick).

Graphene was first isolated by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselovat the University of Manchester in 2004, an achievement for which they received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The University of Manchester still remains the pioneering home of graphene around the world and is home to an unrivaled number of 200 researchers who are currently involved in graphene or 2D material research projects.

Graphene: Made in Manchester - University of Manchester | Youtube

The National Graphene Insitiute (NGI) in Manchester was officially opened on Friday 20th March this year by Nobel Laureate Professor, Sir Kostya Novoselov, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. This new £61 million research facility is based at the University of Manchester and aims to develop innovative applications for graphene.

Last month was it announced that a spin off company from the National Graphene Insitiute, Graphene Lighting PLC, had developed the world's first graphene lightbulb which is due to revolutionise the way we light our homes when it arrives into the market over the next few months.  

This graphene lightbulb will have lower energy emissions, minimal manufacturing costs and a longer lifetime compared to conventional LED bulbs. It is hoped that this will be the first of many commercial developments to emerge from the NGI over the next few years.  

The new National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester will bring together leading academics, scientists and business leaders to help develop the applications of tomorrow, putting the UK in pole position to lead the world in graphene technology.

George Osbourne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Given Manchester's impressive history of groundbreaking scientific research and it's strong connection to graphene, the Commercial Graphene Show could not be held in a more appropriate setting this year.

Speakers at the Commercial Graphene Show

Graphene has widely been hailed as a 'wonder material' but the commercialisation of graphene on an industrial scale has been difficult to achieve since it was first isolated in 2004. This year the Commercial Graphene Show features talks from over 40 experts involved in the commercialisation of graphene. Here are a few key expert talks who should not be missed:

Tim Harper - 'Getting Graphene to Market: A Rational Assessment'

Tim Harper will be giving a talk on the hope, hype and reality of getting graphene to market. Tim will discuss the surge in interest in graphene over the last few years and how this has directly impacted upon the number of patents being filed as well as market valuations.  

By making comparisons to the nanomaterials market (carbon nanotubes in particular), Tim will explain why we should be cautious about expecting graphene to change the world. Tim will also discuss the potential and actual future applications of graphene.

Tim Harper is the Director of Xefro Group Ltd. Tim has built a 25 year career on identifying, understanding and acting on technology trends, from instigating and managing development projects to investment and eventual commercialisation of micro and nanotechnologies.

To read more on AZoNano from Tim Harper on the commercialisation of graphene, click here

Ashot Ter-Avanessov - 'Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes Large Scale Production: Bridged the Gap From Lab Potential to Commercial Reality'

Ashot Ter-Avanessov will give a talk on Thursday morning on the topic of single wall carbon nanotubes.

Carbon nanomaterials, which have been the topic of research for thousands of individuals in both academia and industry around the world, could be the key to a new age of material science based technologies.

Using single wall carbon nanotubes, or SWCNTs, could provide a fundamental change in many industries. However until 2014, SWCNTs were very expensive to purchase, inconsistent in their quality and only available in small quantities.

In 2014, OCSiAl developed a method of production of single wall carbon nanotubes which allows the large scale, commercial production for the first time.

Ashot Ter-Avanessov is the Chief Executive Officer Europe at OCSiAl and is responsible for the European business of OCSiAl Group. Ashot has over 20 years of business and finance experience in large-scale capital transactions.

Dr. Owen J Guy - 'Graphene Biosensors for Point of Care Health Diagnostics'

Owen Guy's talk will discuss the potential use of graphene sensors in healthcare applications. Graphene sensors have very high surface to volume ratios, which makes them highly sensitive to surface interactions.

Graphene also has excellent electronic properties and the combination of these two elements allows graphene-channel sensors to be used in applications such as detecting biomarkers at low concentrations.  

Owen will provide an overview the latest graphene biosensor technology developments at Swansea University and highlight some of the issues surrounding development of graphene sensors that need to be addressed.

Dr. Owen J Guy is an Associate Professor in Engineering at Swansea University. Owen's main research areas are graphene biosensors and integration with Point of Care microfluidics and electronics technology.

Ray Gibbs - 'Exploiting the Potential of Graphene in Commercial Applications'

Ray Gibbs will give a talk on Thursday afternoon on how the properties of graphene can be exploited for use in commercial applications. Ray will give an overview of how graphene has developed so far and highlight the importance of functionalisation. Haydale's model will be discussed in Ray's talk before he looks ahead to the commercial opportunities for graphene in the near future.

Ray Gibbs is a Chartered Accountant and the Chief Executive Officer of Haydale. He has spent the last 18 years in industry as CFO or commercial director of high technology and fast moving consumer goods businesses both in the quoted and private arenas with sales ranging from £500,000 to £500 million.

Sarah Cruddas - 'Chair's Opening Remarks'

Sarah Cruddas will be opening the event on Thursday morning with a prelude to the event.  

Sarah Cruddas is a science broadcaster, journalist and documentary maker, with a background in astrophysics, who specialises in space science and technology. Sarah has presented and reported for BBC Radio 4, as well as writing for New Scientist, The Sunday Times, BBC and CNN.

Exhibitors to Visit at the Commercial Graphene Show

The Commercial Graphene Show will be home to some interesting and innovative exhibitors this year. Here is a summary of the most interesting companies to check out at the show in Manchester:

Nanosurf AG

Nanosurf will be exhibiting their new FlexAFM Version 5 scan head this year.

The Nanosurf FlexAFM is a versatile and flexible research atomic force microscope which allows a wide range of applications to be easily performed by the user.

The Lateral Force Microscopy and Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy modes of the AFM can be used to provide information such as the number of layers, crystal defects and differences in a substrate coupling, intercalation and boundary properties of graphene.

It is also possible to reach atomic resolution in air using the the FlexAFM scan head which allows new research into the orientation of layers of graphene.

Nanosurf AG will also be exhibiting their C3000 controller at the Commercial Graphene Show. For more information on these products visit their stand.

FlexEnable Limited

FlexEnable will be showcasing their extensive expertise in process engineering for flexible electronics manufacturing to accelerate the development of industrial supply chains required to get graphene into mainstream electronics products.

Whilst the potential for graphene is well known, we are only at the very beginning of industrializing applications for this extraordinary 2D material. FlexEnable has a track record of groundbreaking graphene innovation.

Last year they demonstrated that a flexible, transparent graphene conductor can be integrated into their propriety transistor stack to make a truly flexible display.

They have developed a process toolkit that enables them to take new materials from the lab and industrialise their use. The Commercial Graphene Show is all about bringing graphene to the mainstream and that is the reason for FlexEnable’s close involvement in the show.

Talga Resources Ltd

Talga will be showcasing their unique and simple means of liberating bulk quantities of graphene nanoplatelets direct from raw graphite ore.

The widespread adoption of graphene enabled applications is currently constrained by the absence of large scale, affordable sources that offer continuity of supply.

Talga is targeting the additives market to enable the commercial reality for a range of technologies that will improve existing products in the near future. For more information on Talga visit their stand.

Nabertherm GmbH

Nabertherm will be exhibiting their wide range of standard furnaces for laboratory use at the Commercial Graphene Show this year.

Using their furnaces and customized system solutions, complete thermal processes can be realised. Nabertherm's innovative control technology allows the precise control and remote monitoring of processes. For more information on Nabertherm visit their stand.

AZoNano at the Commerical Graphene Show

To keep up to date with the latest developments from this year’s Commercial Graphene Show, visit our website.

For live updates on the show on Twitter, follow @AZoNano and use the hashtag #GrapheneShowUK.

For more information on the Commercial Graphene Show 2015, visit their website.

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