Nanotek Instruments, parent company of Angstron Materials Inc., has been issued U.S. Patent 7,623,340 for its development of a new high-performing class of meso-porous nanocomposites. The new nanocomposite provides a superior supercapacitor electrode material for uses that include hybrid electric vehicles (EVs), transportation and energy storage. The technology is based on the company’s breakthrough discovery of nano graphene platelets (NGPs). Angstron, the world leader in production of NGPs, will make the nanocomposite material.
The NGP-based nanocomposite exhibits high levels of capacitance and electrical conductivity as well as demonstrating chemical stability and low mass density. Both NGPs and NGP-based nanocomposites can be mass produced cost-effectively when compared to carbon nano-tubes and fibers. Supercapacitors containing this advanced material offer the potential to supplement a battery used in an electric car to provide bursts of power needed for rapid acceleration. Until now, this critical requirement has been the largest technical hurdle to making battery-powered cars commercially viable.
In addition, supercapacitors must also be able to store sufficient energy to provide an acceptable driving range. The new NGP-based material makes it possible for a supercapacitor to meet weight and cost targets while combining adequate energy and power with a long cycle life. Angstron will provide the meso-porous NGP nanocomposites in two forms: NGPs coated with a thin layer of conducting polymer or surface functional groups and NGPs bonded by a conductive binder, coating, or matrix material such as a polymeric carbon. The platelets in these products are comprised of a sheet of graphite plane or multiple sheets of graphite plane with a thickness less than 10 nm and an average length, width, or diameter smaller than 500 nm. The binder or matrix material bonded to the platelets to form the nanocomposite material create a surface area greater than 500 m.sup.2/gm.
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.