Part of NIST’s Technology Innovation Program (TIP), the award will be matched by other funding sources.

TIP selected Angstron based on its capability to accelerate development of nano graphene, an advanced material considered critical to potential growth in US manufacturing.

“We’ll also be able to help industries that currently need and use carbon nanotubes, but would benefit from higher performance and a lower cost,” says Dr Bor Jang, CEO and Co-Founder of Angstron, based in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

NGPs can be used in the aviation sector to protect against lightening strikes or in fuel tanks. The material can be modified to become semi-conducting or insulated when needed. Angstron’s work supports other aerospace needs such as integration of NGPs in thin films or coatings for EMI shielding, electrostatic spray painting, and conductive adhesives as well as composites and thermal management applications. Work is also underway to integrate NGPs in several energy storage and conversion products, such as high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, high-capacity supercapacitors, fuel cells, wind turbine blades, lubricants and solar cells.

The ability to chemically functionalise NGPs in a continuous, cost-effective manner is the next step to broad implementation of this material.

“We are actively looking for partners interested in jointly developing methods to incorporate NGPs into products that require critical performance features and could provide a competitive advantage in today’s global market,” says Jang.

Angstron’s project goals under the award will focus on two primary objectives:

  • to develop methods for mass-producing functionalised NGPs through the development of scalable surface treatment procedures for both pristine graphene and graphene oxide platelets; and
  • to develop an in-depth understanding of the relationships between processing, shape and structure changes and performance in NGPs and NGP-containing devices or composites for both functional and load-bearing applications.

Available in a wide range of geometries, NGP products are reported to be easily surface functionalisable for polymer and common solvent applications and offer high loading potential for nanocomposite applications.