Aside from two graphene-packed days of talks, networking events, roundtable discussions, and panel discussions, as well as a bonus day of stakeholder sessions and advisory board meeting, the Global Graphene Expo featured an exhibition hall where companies and public institutions could have a stand and showcase their products/work in the graphene field. So, let’s have a look at who the exhibitors were at this year’s Expo.
Directa Plus was perhaps one of the biggest known exhibitors at this years Expo, and a company that has a significant output of commercially available end-user products. Directa Plus graphene product, G+, has been used to create various types of clothing products, including jeans with the apparel company Arvind, absorbent materials (Grafysorber®) for cleaning up oil spills, as well as being used in both tires and road surfaces. The CEO of Directa Plus, Giulio Cesareo, is also a member of the NGA advisory board.
Another big company in the world of graphene is Versarien. Versarien is composed of various subsidy companies, whose products range from advanced materials outside of graphene and 2D materials. On the 2D side, Versarien has Nanene (few layer graphene) and Graphinks (graphene-based inks), as well as a hexagonal boron nitride product called Hexotene. Versarien launched their new app at the exhibition hall, which is an interactive app that allows users to see (in 3D) where graphene can be used in various applications. The CEO, Neill Ricketts, is also a member of the NGA advisory board and Versarien are a member of the NGA Industry Council.
Graphene One is the creator and supplier of various types of polymer-graphene yarns known as Kyorene®. Currently, the polymers used in the fibers include polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl acetate (PVA), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), but there are more options being trialled. Graphene One sells both the pure polymer-graphene yarn to other manufacturers for them to implement in their products, as well as making products themselves. Currently, products that use Kyorene® includes PPE equipment, heat-resistant gloves, antibacterial textiles for the medical sector and helmets, to name a few.
Kennedy Labs had an exhibition stall for the second year in a row after exhibiting at last year’s Graphene Innovation Summit. Firmly rooted in the microelectronics industry, Kennedy labs supplies a wide range of graphene, hexagonal boron nitride and heterostructure solutions through their commercial partner, Digikey. Kennedy Labs supplies graphene in CVD, nanoplatelet, ink, paste and suspension forms, and the President the company, Brian Kennedy, is a member of the NGA advisory board.
Grollltex is a supplier of roll-to-roll single layer CVD graphene products. Grolltex uses a patented metal assisted exfoliation (MAE) method to deposit either single layer graphene or single layer hexagonal boron onto various size substrates. Grolltex offers these 2D material products on either copper, a silicon wafer, or on a substrate of your choice.
Ceylon Graphene Technologies
Ceylon Graphene Technologies is a company who produces graphene oxide, reduced graphene oxide, functionalized graphene oxide(s) and expanded graphite. Because of their location in Sri Lanka, they make all their graphene products from the local Sri Lankan vein graphite—which is known to be of a high quality.
Asbury Carbons was one of the few material producers who weren’t actively producing graphene. Asbury carbons is a company that is involved with producing graphite. As well as producing a range of other carbon-based products, Asbury produces a wide range of graphite products, including vein graphite, flake graphite, amorphous graphite, expandable graphite, synthetic graphite, and their unique Graphco flash graphitized material.
Pacific Industrial Consultants (PIC)
Pacific Industrial Consultants (PIC) are a contract manufacturer organization that provides manufacturing and product development knowledge to the U.S. industrial market. PIC has worked with partners on a wide range of carbon materials and is currently working on a graphene-based coating that can be used to create a range of rapid heating textiles.
Accurion were one of the exhibitors who were on the characterization side of graphene, rather than the production side. Accurion showcased their unique imaging ellipsometry instrument that characterizes thin films and 2D materials and can be used to determine the number of layers in a graphene sample, as well as the degree of contamination, in a timely manner. The business development manager, Marcus Liemen, is also a member of the NGA advisory board.
Carbonext is a graphene production company that does things different to many others. Instead of using graphite precursors (or CVD), Carbonext produces scalable graphene from asphaltene—which is seen as a green way of producing graphene.
Nano-Master is a company who specializes in thin film and wafer processing instrumentation—which are important processes in the world of graphene and other 2D materials. Nano-Master provide a range of atomic layer deposition (ALD), etching, physical vapor deposition (PVD), sputtering and evaporation methods, alongside a series of methods to clean thin films and wafers.
DISCO Hi-Tec America, Inc.
DISCO Hi-Tec America are the American contingent of the Japanese company, DISCO Corporation. DISCO produce a lot of process equipment, which ranges from cutting and grinding tools for producing wafers and techniques that can relieve material stress.
The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
The Department of Engineering at Ole Miss is another exhibitor that has held a stand for two years now. Ole Miss works closely with the NGA and there are many faculty members that have a strong interest in graphene, and the university has recently established the Center for Graphene Research and Innovation. The Director of the Center for Graphene Research and Innovation, Ahmed Al-Ostaz, and the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr Josh Gladden, and the Dean of the School of Engineering, David Puleo, are all members of the NGA advisory board, among others from the University.
University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)
Given that the Expo was held within the boundaries of the University of Texas at Austin, it should be of no surprise that they had an exhibit at the event. Of the research groups and institutes at UT Austin, the Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT) held an exhibition booth, and is a scientific center that works with industry partners to take lab-scale nanotechnologies to the marketplace.
Texas Workforce Commission
The final exhibitor to mention is the Texas Workforce Commission, which is a U.S. government agency that deals with employment related services in the state of Texas. At the Expo, the Texas Workforce Commission were looking to attract small businesses to come and settle in Texas (I must admit, the idea of being in an area where you pay no income tax does sound appealing).
Written by NGA Board Member, Liam Critchley
About the National Graphene Association (NGA)
The National Graphene Association is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene. NGA is focused on addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene based materials globally. NGA brings 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.