Avadain is the only company we are aware of that has technology capable of producing large, thin and nearly defect free graphene flakes. Our technology is environmentally friendly, highly differentiated and we have no known competitors.
The international standard for characterizing graphene is 10 or fewer atomic layers. Between 10 and 3,000 atomic layers is a material called “nanoplatelets”. Above 3,000 atomic layers is graphite, the material we refer to as pencil lead.
Graphene’s fantastic strength and flexibility/bendability starts at 30 microns in lateral flake size – that is, the length of the flake. Moreover, as the German company Bosch found in a three-year study, the larger the flake size, the more efficient the electrical conductivity. As a result, Avadain believes the graphene market is segmented into low quality graphene and high quality graphene, based on lateral flakes size.
The global market for low quality graphene is increasingly crowded and supply significantly exceeds demand. According to The Graphene Council, there are some 300 companies manufacturing small-to-tiny graphene materials. The small flakes typically measure 1-7 microns in lateral flake size. The tiny flakes are measured in nanometers and are often referred to as “nanoparticles”. At these small/tiny sizes, the material – when used as an additive – is brittle and has little or no mechanical strength.
Avadain is the only company we are aware of with a technology to manufacture flakes that average 50 microns in lateral flake size (up to 100 microns). Therefore, Avadain’s flakes possess all of graphene’s fantastic properties.
There are at least two other metrics for segmenting the graphene market – level of defects and cytotoxicity.
Defects can be caused by a number of factors, but Avadain is most concerned with carbon-oxygen bonding during the production process because this deprives the material of graphene’s fantastic qualities.
Avadain’s globally patented process minimizes these defects, producing very few defects. In contrast, other methods have high levels of defects, producing a material called Graphene Oxide. GO tends to be brittle and a relatively poor electrical conductor. Some of these defects can be removed through a separate process to produce a material called Reduced Graphene Oxide. However, rGO also tends to make products brittle and, while better than GO, still lacks graphene’s almost perfect electrical conductivity.
High quality graphene can be non-toxic and biocompatible.
“The toxicity of graphene, besides its dose, is not due to graphene itself but to the impurities that are a sub-product of graphene’s industrial processing,” reports Antonio H. Castro Neto, Director of the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Advanced 2D Materials and Institute for Functional Intelligent Materials. In a seminal study, the NUS Centre for 2D Materials found that graphene toxicity is caused by materials misrepresented as graphene or impurities introduced during graphene processing.
Avadain’s production process does not involve toxic chemicals, unlike most other graphene materials.