Tennessee Patent of the Month – September 2023

Graphene has been opening up a world of possibilities across various industries. Its remarkable properties, including high strength, conductivity, and flexibility, have sparked innovations in energy storage, electronics, sensors, and more. However, the challenge lies in efficiently and continuously producing graphene at a commercial scale. Enter General Graphene Corporation, a pioneering company that is set to revolutionize graphene production with its proprietary technology.

Traditionally, producing graphene involved multiple discrete treatment units, each optimized for a specific step in the process. This approach not only incurred high capital costs but also hindered efficiency and scalability. General Graphene Corporation has addressed these challenges by developing a novel system that enables continuous graphene production within a single, laterally extending chamber.

Instead of relying on multiple discrete units, General Graphene Corporation’s system creates different localized treatment conditions within a single chamber. This eliminates the need for physical barriers or separate treatment units, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. The system employs angularly-oriented scavenging gas outlets that provide an angular stream of substrate gas scavenging composition. This feature enhances the scavenging process and improves contaminant removal.

The system includes multiple gas distribution subsystems that deliver component gases to different processing sub-enclosures. This ensures precise control over the gas composition and flow rates, optimizing the graphene production process. General Graphene Corporation’s system allows for continuous processing of graphene, minimizing downtime and maximizing throughput. It includes features like linear tracks for substrate holder displacement and cooling mechanisms to maintain the integrity of the substrate.

To ensure quality control, the system incorporates temperature sensors and oxygen concentration detecting sensors. These sensors help maintain the desired processing conditions and prevent thermal degradation of the substrate. The system accounts for thermal expansion by incorporating expansion gaps and uses a slack loop sensor to prevent slack in the substrate sheet during processing.

General Graphene Corporation’s system includes a laterally extending furnace with heating coils positioned outside the enclosure, ensuring uniform heating and precise control of the annealing process. To complete the graphene production process, the system includes outfeed tunnels with laterally-oriented outfeed gas outlets for effective cooling and protection against contamination.

General Graphene Corporation’s innovative approach to graphene production promises higher yields, increased throughput, and reduced maintenance costs. Their continuous, single-chamber system represents a significant leap forward in the world of graphene manufacturing, unlocking new possibilities for industries and applications worldwide.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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