San Diego is the new home of the largest capacity commercial CVD graphene facility in North America. Grolltex, for ‘graphene-rolling-technologies’, is now manufacturing large area, high quality, single layer graphene in its new class 1000 production clean room. The company uses patented as well as engineered efficiencies in synthesis and transfer techniques enabling what it says is a ‘new cost regime’ for creating CVD graphene which results in prices well below current market rates. Grolltex believes this could help graphene researchers and product designers everywhere in getting their designs across the finish line and into the hands of users sooner and at lower costs.
The Grolltex graphene facility is capable of 18” dimension graphene growth and transfer. According to CEO, Jeff Draa; “Many in the U.S. graphene community see the country as behind other parts of the world in graphene research and development as well as graphene product creation and implementation. We believe opening this facility helps take the country forward in domestic capability and capacity in CVD graphene.”
Grolltex leverages graphene research and patents developed at nearby University of California, San Diego. In addition to being a graphene materials supplier, the company is involved with the design of specific products made of graphene such as multi-modal sensors, biosensors, perovskite solar cells, display materials and X-ray windows.
The company has won a grant from the California Energy Commission for work on a double sided solar cell design and is also in discussions with a large defense contractor for a graphene based sensor array that would be used to detect in flight structural stress in aeronautical vehicles. These products and designs are enabled by the company’s materials manufacturing schema which includes what the company calls its ‘metal assisted exfoliation’ technique of graphene transfer. This technique uses industry standard processes and equipment to produce graphene at much lower costs than current practices.
“Our breakthrough transfer process uses the adhesion strength of graphene to other metals versus the copper substrate it is grown on to transfer the graphene completely intact, maintaining its integrity” says inventor and company CTO, Alex Zaretski. He continues, “Additionally, our process is completely sustainable as we reuse the optimized copper substrate over and over again resulting in better throughput and cost savings as well as higher quality graphene.” The company is currently characterizing its next standard product, contiguous single layer CVD graphene on 200mm silicon wafers, and plans to release this offering in the coming weeks.
With this new facility coming on-line, U.S. CVD graphene capacity would now be on par with other regions of the world that focus on large area, high quality single layer graphene for use in electronic devices.
Graphene Entrepreneur is a division of the National Graphene Association. The Mission of the NGA is to bring together current and future graphene stakeholders — entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, developers and suppliers, investors, venture capitalists and government agencies — to drive innovation, and to promote and facilitate the commercialization of graphene products and technologies in the United States.
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