Aerographite: A High Performance Graphene-based Functional Material

Technology Overview

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

A German research institution has developed a synthesis process for 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.

Technology Features & Specifications

A German research group has developed a novel synthesis process for this carbon foam which comprises of two steps:

  1. First, a zinc oxide based ceramic template is formed by mixing, pressing, and sintering of a metal oxide and polyvinylacetate blend.
  2. In a second step this template is converted into the carbon based structure by a chemical vapour 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 hydrophobicity. This tunability of the material opens up a wide range of applications with superior material performance.

Potential Applications

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 polymer
  • 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

Customer Benefits

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/m3)
  • Very high specific surface area (>400 m2/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
  • Non-transparent 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

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