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Aerographite: A high-performance graphene-based functional material with tunable mechanical, electrical, thermal, and chemical properties for application in the chemical and energy sector, electronics and biomedical applications

Country of Origin: Germany
Reference Number: TODE20180620001
Publication Date: 4 July 2018

Summary

A German research institution has developed a synthesis process for a graphene-based foam (Aerographite) with tunable mechanical, electrical, thermal, and chemical properties for a multitude of applications. Industrial partners from the chemical industry, biomedical or biotechnology sector, energy sector, and electronics manufacturing are sought for licensing, transfer of rights, technical cooperation agreement, knowledge transfer, or R&D collaboration.

Description

Aerographite is a graphene-based open pore carbon foam with extremely high porosity, very low density, and high specific surface.

A German research group has developed a novel synthesis process for this carbon foam which comprises of two steps. First, a zinc oxide based ceramic template is formed by mixing, pressing, and sintering of a metal oxide and polyvinylacetale blend. In a second step this template is converted into the carbon based structure by a chemical vapor deposition process (CVD). Covalent bonds formed during the process lead to a high durability and good mechanical characteristics. The aerographite can be doped with metals or metal oxides to adjust its electrical, thermal, and chemical properties, while the surface can be functionalized, e.g. to change its hyrophobicity. This tunability of the material opens up a wide range of applications with superior material performance.

Consequently, aerographite can be of high value for the following applications:

Chemical industry:
- filters and membranes
- carrier material for catalysts
- gas sensors, e.g. for carbon dioxide or methane
- filler material in polymers

Energy sector:
- solid state energy storage and electrode materials

Electronics:
- shielding of radiation in network applications or aerospace applications

Biomedical industry:
- carrier material in medical engineering and biotechnology

Other applications
- filter material in water processing and remediation
- spectroscopy applications
- thermal insulation

Partners from these sectors could benefit from a transfer of rights of the existing IP (patent pending), licensing, technical cooperation agreement, or a R&D collaboration to refine the production process for a specific application.

Advantages and Innovations

A major benefit of the innovation is the simplicity of the production process, especially for catalytically active materials.

Further advantages and properties include:

- extremely low density < 200 g/m^3)
- very high specific surface > 400 m^2/g
- adjustable porosity and pore filling with gas of solid material
- adjustable geometry
- deformability, e.g. 95 % compression and re-expansion possible
- tunable electrical and thermal conductivity
- transparent to UV- and X-rays
- intransparent to IR and visible light
- chemical stability
- catalytic activity can be introduced by adding metals / metal oxides
- mechanical stability, i.e. high tensile strength and pressure resistance
- heat resistant in oxygen atmosphere up to 700 °C
- biocompatibility

Stage Of Development

Prototype available for demonstration

Requested partner

Due to the variety of possible applications, an industrial partner from the chemical industry, biomedical or biotechnology sector, energy sector, and electronics manufacturing is sought for licensing, transfer of rights (pending patent), technical cooperation agreement, or knowledge transfer. Depending on targeted applications the synthesis process could be refined in a R&D collaboration.

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