Graphene Energy Inc., an Austin, Texas-based startup formed in December 2008 to commercialize chemically modified graphene (CMG) ultracapacitors (earlier post) has raised $500,000 in seed money from Quercus Trust and 21Ventures.
The company also concluded licensing terms for its technology from the University of Texas at Austin and The College of William and Mary. Graphene Energy says that its technology is the result of the efforts of the Ruoff research group at the University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Rod Ruoff and his team published a paper in September 2008 in the journal Nano Letters describing the development of chemically modified graphene and its application in an ultracapacitor. Graphene is a one atom thick structure of bonded carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice.
As reported in the paper, the surface area of a single graphene sheet is 2,630 m2/g, substantially higher than values derived from BET surface area measurements of activated carbons used in current electrochemical double layer capacitors. The group measured specific capacitances of 135 and 99 F/g in aqueous and organic electrolytes, respectively, in devices using the CMG material.
Meryl D. Stoller, Sungjin Park, Yanwu Zhu, Jinho An, and Rodney S. Ruoff (2008) Graphene-Based Ultracapacitors. ASAP Nano Lett., doi: 10.1021/nl802558y