Europe has its first supplier of epitaxial graphene on a silicon carbide substrate in the newly formed Swedish company Graphensic AB (part of the business incubator LEAD). The company has been formed as a result of work carried out at Linkoping University by the lead researchers. The team has gained expertise in the chemistry of silicon carbide since an early involvement in developing a number of adhesion techniques in the 1990s.
The company is confident that with a new high temperature patent-pending method they will be able to bring to market a higher quality product with fewer defects. The higher temperature imparts greater kinetic energy to the carbon atoms when the graphene layer is formed.
Professor Rositza Yakimova (team leader, and CEO of Graphensic) believes the demand already exists for the company’s graphene products as the team has already been asked to supply national and European projects during the research stage. The High Temperature Graphene Process (HTGP) is already producing the first product in monolayer graphene on the silicon face of hexagonal SiC, and an additional producy in bilayer graphene is in the pipeline. The team anticipates being able to keep pace with all the developments in the industrialization of graphene and will work on new products as the company grows.
Graphensic’s founders hope to find additional funding in the EU ‘Graphene Flagship’ project, a competition in which they will have to out perform five other companies if they are to secure a share of the ten year and one billion euro investment.
Graphensic’s first customers come from the Nordic countries, France and Japan. Graphensic also targets supplying industrial groups, says Mikael Syväjärvi, who worked on the entrepreneurial steps to launch the start-up. Such firms have much greater demands and are hence useful for Graphensic to work further on its process and materials, he adds.
“We are developing a process for cubic SiC, and study the combination of this material with the graphene,” says Yakimova. “There are many fascinating processes and insightful knowledge in this combinatorial materials system. We hope that these can be a part of our product portfolio in the company,” she concludes.
The company in featured on the Cleanindex list of 300+ Nordic cleantech companies, a service aimed at helping environmentally active companies to grow through sustainable investment strategies.