Versarien plc (AIM: VRS), the advanced engineering materials group is pleased to announce that its graphene development subsidiary, 2-DTech, has made a major advance in graphene platelet production, which the Board believes will accelerate potential commercial applications for graphene and graphene products. As a result of 2-DTech’s investment program, it has developed its own proprietary graphene production technique founded upon a licenced process from University of Ulster. This process offers numerous advantages over the conventional graphene manufacturing solutions currently on the market.
Building on techniques originating from University of Manchester, refined by University of Ulster and 2-DTech, this patented process involvesa mechanised exfoliation process in which a strong shearing force is applied to the surface of the graphene layers. This process can be automated and allows graphene sheets to be produced in larger quantities and with greater chemical purity. The resulting graphene has up to 99% carbon and minimal oxygen content, as well as being effectively inert. The graphene also exhibits exceptionally good structure and retains a very high degree of crystallinity ensuring that the risk of contamination is significantly reduced.
Graphene performance is dependent not only on the purity, but the number of atomic layers, with a single layer providing optimal performance, allowing the full potential of graphene to be unlocked. Importantly, the 2-DTech production process provides significant amounts of single layer graphene on an industrial scale.
2-DTech are currently working with a number of clients, from industries as diverse as military, medical and consumer products, requiring access to high quality, cost effective graphene and are expecting to form a number of further partnerships to commercialise this technology in a timely fashion in the near future.
2D-Tech are a partner of the newly-opened National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester.
The University’s Graphene Business Director, James Baker, said: “The new production method that 2DTech have refined is an important step to producing high-quality graphene on an industrial scale.
“As partners of the National Graphene Institute, we are delighted to be supporting the advances 2D-Tech are making within graphene production and commercialisation. As partners, they have access to our critical mass of research expertise and work closely with us on how to take the commercialisation of graphene forward.”
Versarien CEO Neill Ricketts commented: “Our technique is highly scalable and we can also use our existing group resources to manufacture relatively large quantities of high quality graphene. We are now planning to commence production and by utilising our existing production facilities we expect to lower our graphene production costs.
“This process is no more complex than existing production techniques thereby providing our customers greater product flexibility. Parameters such as secondary processing and dispersion mediums and methods can be set to meet end-use application requirements. Different solvents can be specified, a wide range of concentration levels can be selected from, as well as different product forms – either a liquid or powder.”
“This is a fundamental step forward in producing graphene using a patented, commercially viable production method and I would like to congratulate the 2-DTech team on their achievement. The graphene produced is of a very high quality and purity exhibiting the properties expected of single layer
graphene. This has been tested by our own team as well as by a number of independent testing houses. We now look forward to increasing capacity to meet the demand for high quality supplies to complement our existing forms of graphene production.”