Angstron Materials Inc., a world leader in the production of nano graphene platelets (NGPs), has been awarded 1.494 million to develop processes for mass-producing chemically modified ("functionalized") NGPs for a nearly limitless number of applications in the aerospace, energy, defense, automotive and telecommunications markets. Angstron was selected for the award by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Part of NIST's Technology Innovation Program (TIP), the award will be matched by other funding sources.
The award will generate more high-tech jobs for Dayton and position Angstron as a commercialization leader for breakthrough NGP-based products with its patented technology and manufacturing processes. TIP selected Angstron based on its capability to accelerate development of nano graphene, an advanced material considered critical to potential growth in U.S. manufacturing. "We'll also be able to help industries that currently need and use carbon nanotubes, but would benefit from higher performance and a lower cost," said Dr. Bor Jang, CEO and Co-Founder of Angstron.
Angstron developed NGPs as an alternative to carbon nanotubes, which are difficult to disperse in plastic and often have purity issues—not to mention the cost factor. NGPs have been shown to have striking material properties; among other things, it has the highest intrinsic strength and the highest thermal conductivity of all existing materials as well as exceptional in-plane electrical conductivity (up to ~ 20,000 S/cm)and electron mobility that is 100 times faster than silicon.
The ability to chemically functionalize these NGPs in a continuous, cost-effective manner is the next step to broad implementation of this high performing material. "We are actively looking for partners interested in jointly developing methods to incorporate NGPs into products that require critical performance features and could provide a competitive advantage in today's global market," said Jang.
Application examples include the ability to use NGPs in aviation against lightening strikes or in fuel tanks. The material can be modified to become semi-conducting or insulated when needed. Angstron's work supports other aerospace needs such as integration of NGPs in thin films or coatings for EMI shielding, electrostatic spray painting, and conductive adhesives as well as composites and thermal management applications. Work is also underway to integrate NGPs in several energy storage and conversion products, such as high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, high-capacity supercapacitors, fuel cells, wind turbine blades, lubricants and solar cells.
Angstron's project goals under the award will focus on two primary objectives The advanced materials company will develop methods for mass-producing functionalized NGPs through the development of scalable surface treatment procedures for both pristine graphene and graphene oxide platelets. Angstron will also develop an in-depth understanding of the relationships between processing, shape and structure changes and performance in NGPs and NGP-containing devices or composites for both functional and load-bearing applications.
Angstron Materials leads the industry as the only advanced materials company to offer large quantities of both pristine graphene and oxidized graphene. Multi-layer graphene, both pristine and oxidized versions, are collectively referred to as nano graphene platelets (NGPs). NGPs offer improved performance properties including very high Young's modulus, strength and surface area, superior thermal and electrical conductivity, lower density and less weight. NGPs are also resistant to gas permeation. As a result, Angstron is able to work with companies to develop products for batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, light weight structural components as well as electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio frequency interference (RFI), electrostatic discharge (ESD), lightning strike and other functional and structural composite applications. In addition to its ability to provide sample materials and scale-up, Angstron partners with customers to help manufacturers identify optimal designs, experience with research and development to help manufacturers harness the advantages of nano compositions and manufacturing processes. Available in a wide range of geometries, NGP products are easily surface functionalizable for polymer and common solvent applications and offer high loading potential for nanocomposite applications. Angstron combines real world technology to make next generation products in the aerospace, automotive, energy, marine, construction, electronics, medical, and telecommunications markets.