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Posted: Feb 11, 2013
Graphenea is the Main Graphene Producer in the European EUR 1 Billion Project
(Nanowerk News) The European Commission has just approved a 1 billion funds for the graphene industry on January 28th. Graphenea (http://www.graphenea.com), a European company based in CIC nanoGune Nanotechnology Center, is already leading the market and takes part to the "Graphene Flagship Project". The 10 years scheme will provide fundings for this special area of nanotechnology and advanced electronics. Graphenea will be able to invest even more to improve the production of graphene for industrial sectors as broad as flexible and transparent electronics, batteries, displays, or even health.
The Graphene Flagship project includes 74 partners among which Graphenea is the only graphene films producer involved. Other partners include large companies like Philips, Varta, Nokia, ST Microelectronics, Repsol, Alcatel-Lucent or Airbus among others.
Graphenea aims at being at the edge of novelty and technology to lead an expanding market: "Graphene is a revolutionary material that could impact in several industrial markets like batteries, solar cells and LEDs" says Jesus de la Fuente, Graphenea's CEO. The company has thus decided to implement an active strategy resolutely focused towards industrial applications and research. The two main goals of the employees are to satisfy high-quality demanding customers and to develop increasingly pure graphene films that could also be tuned for specific applications. Indeed, Graphenea produces mainly CVD graphene films and liquid exfoliated graphene oxide.
Graphene grown by CVD
Chemical Vapor Deposited represents nowadays the most industrial scalable method to produce high quality graphene films. After evaporation of carbon on a copper foil, the method allows transfer of the mono atomic crystal sheet to a broad range of substrate. Graphenea is the first to offer this material for commercial applications at affordable prices. Its pilot line is producing 50,000 cm²/year and the team plans to extend it to an industrial-scale production line with capacity of more than 130 millions cm²/year This large amount paves the way to a spreading of graphene in daily life products like sensors, high-frequency transistors, flexible and transparent electronic chips, batteries or solar cells.
Graphenea was founded in 2010 by Jesus de la Fuente, a former Arthur Andersen's and PricewaterhouseCoopers' director, among CIC nanoGune Research Center, private investors and a venture capital fund. He was able to predict that this material, only discovered in 2004, would be a key enabling technology. Due to its amazing physical properties : it is the best thermal conductor, has better electrical conductivity than the broadly used Silicon, is flexible and transparent and it is 200 times stronger than steel. Grapheneas's portfolio includes big companies like Nokia, Philips, Nissan or Canon. These firms are strongly investigating the opportunities that graphene could offer.
Research and innovation
To date, Graphenea is pioneer and leader in Europe for the fabrication of graphene films. It is also a reference within the scientific research world for its achievements in R&D. It has published many peer-reviewed articles in famous journals like Nature. It also wants to promote research on graphene around the world by supplying the material to the most relevant laboratories, research teams, companies and universities. It is heavily investing in Research to improve the quality of the material and efficiency of the production process. Graphenea's Scientific Advisory team gathers some of the top researchers in the graphene synthesis field.
As Jesus de la Fuente states "if you think that graphene is only 10 years old and that so much has already been achieved with it, you can really appreciate what the future can be. Most electronic applications will probably benefit from the unique properties of graphene. People already work on smart windows, flexible tablets or high density batteries based on graphene electrodes."