Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. | Independent manufacturer of performance and speciality chemicals

header list

Elicarb® Graphene

Elicarb Graphene

Graphene, first identified at the University of Manchester, UK in 2004, is a material with outstanding properties and is expected to revolutionise many industries. It is the thinnest and strongest material ever discovered (breaking strength of 42 Nm-2, 100 times greater than steel). It shows electrical and thermal conductivity greater than copper at a fraction of the weight and absorbs only 2.3% of the light passing through it. Graphene has many potential applications which include mechanical reinforcement, transparent conductive materials, flexible & printable electronics, super-capacitors, thermoelectric materials and thermal management materials.

Elicarb Graphene

While the list of potential applications continues to grow, many challenges exist for industrial companies attempting to convert the current outstanding science into profitable commercial opportunities. Chief amongst these challenges is the availability of a reliable, high quality material supply to enable formulation, component and device development. Also, multiple routes to graphene exist offering a broad range of material types ranging from highly engineered single layers deposited by chemical vapour deposition to high volume graphene oxide based materials.

Thomas Swan in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin has developed an industrially scalable route to non-oxidised graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) which for the first time offers the potential for highly conductive GNPs at commercial volumes.

Graphene - the science:

Graphene is a two-dimensional allotrope of carbon, and sits alongside C60 (0-D), carbon nanotubes (1-D), and graphite (3-D) in the family of sp2-bonded forms of carbon. It consists of single atomic layers of carbon (~0.3nm thick) while extending many hundreds of nanometres in the lateral dimension. It was first isolated by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at the University of Manchester in 2003, their results were published in 2004.