Nano-science device produces ‘clean’ super-strength carbons

June 27, 2018

Enabling the production of materials such as graphene and sliced carbon nanotubes, with the bonus of not needing to use harsh or toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process.

The remarkable and versatile Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD), capable of producing high quality graphene and specific length carbon nanotubes without using harsh or toxic chemicals, will be manufactured for commercial sales as part of a collaboration by new nano-science company 2D Fluidics.

2D Fluidics has been formed through a collaboration between ASX-listed company First Graphene Ltd and the Flinders Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology.

2D Fluidics will commercialise the Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD), invented in collaboration with the Flinders Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology’s Professor Colin Raston. The VFD enables new approaches to producing a wide range of materials such as graphene and sliced carbon nanotubes, with the bonus of not needing to use harsh or toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process (which is required for conventional graphene and shortened carbon nanotube production).

This clean processing breakthrough will also greatly reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of manufacturing these new high quality super-strength carbon materials.

The key intellectual property used by 2D Fluidics comprises two patents around the production of carbon nanomaterials, assigned by Flinders University.

2D Fluidics will use the VFD to prepare these materials for commercial sales, which will be used in the plastics industry for applications requiring new composite materials, and by the electronics industry for circuits, supercapacitors and batteries. They will also be used by research laboratories around the world.

2D Fluidics will also manufacture the VFD, which is expected to become an in-demand state-of-the-art research and teaching tool for thousands of universities world-wide, and should be a strong revenue source for the new company.

“The VFD is a game changer for many applications across the sciences, engineering and medicine, and the commercialisation of the device will have a big impact in the research and teaching arena,” says Professor Raston.

“Nano-carbon materials can replace metals in many products, as a new paradigm in manufacturing, and the commercial availability of such materials by 2D Fludics will make a big impact. It also has exciting possibilities in industry for low cost production where the processing is under continuous flow, which addresses scaling up – often a bottleneck issue in translating processes into industry.”

First Graphene’s Managing Director, Craig McGuckin, says working with Professor Raston and his team over the past 12 months has resulted in decisive steps towards the commercialisation of nano-carbon materials, which is the focus of First Graphene’s board and management.

The creation of 2D Fluidics also pulls focus on the newly-named Institute, which continues the pivotal nanoscale science research work that the former Flinders Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology has been conducting for the previous eight years. Institute Director David Lewis says the decision to form an Institute underlines Flinders’ strong cohort of more than 120 high performing researchers in this field, strong external partnerships and increasing international reputation.

Source: Flinders University

Image: Professor Colin Raston and research associate,Dr Kasturi Vimalanathan from Raston Lab use a carbon nanotube model to illustrate how the Vortex Fluidic Device can cut the super-hard nano-material using laser light and water or non-toxic liquids under continuous flow.

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