Paragraf, the graphene technology development company, a recent spin out from the University of Cambridge, has closed a £2.64 million seed round to support the development of its first major products. IQ Capital invested alongside Cambridge Enterprise amongst others.
Paragraf focuses on the production of ‘two-dimensional’ materials, primarily graphene, and the development of devices based on these materials. Due to its extremely high conductivity, superb strength, very low weight and ultimate flexibility, graphene is the ideal material for use in many next generation technologies. The immense market opportunities for graphene have seen billions of dollars of corporate and public investment in R&D aiming to realise the value of the material, but problems persist.
Using a novel, proprietary approach Paragraf has overcome the common problems of poor uniformity, reproducibility, limited size and material contamination that affect current graphene manufacturing techniques. Delivering functionally active graphene, with properties specifically targeted at its application, for example, electrical characteristics tuned to deliver very sensitive detectors, this production breakthrough finally enables graphene technologies to be realised at a commercial scale.
Below are comments by the company’s chairman, CEO and also IQ Capital:
Dr Simon Thomas, CEO of Paragraf, said: “There’s no doubt that the electronic, mechanical and optical properties of two-dimensional materials such as graphene have the potential to induce paradigm shifts in a multitude of state of the art technologies. However, until materials like graphene can be delivered in commercially viable, device compatible, functionally targeted forms the considerable achievements demonstrated at lab scale will not be transferred to real world technologies. At Paragraf we have developed the first production technique that allows true scaling of graphene based devices.”
Prof. Sir Colin Humphreys, Chairman of Paragraf, said: “Graphene has been called the new wonder material, because of its potential to transform a range of industries such as electronics, energy and healthcare. However, so far, its applications have been limited because good quality graphene is only available in small flakes. Our underlying research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the company aims to transform production by providing good quality large-area
Ed Stacey of IQ Capital commented: “While the huge potential of Graphene has been understood for some time, graphene based products have not achieved the widespread industry adoption they deserve. This situation is set to change with Paragraf’s innovative and disruptive design and manufacturing process for high-quality graphene, which will for the first time enable large scale production of graphene technology and devices.”
About Paragraf: Paragraf is a spin-out from the high-profile Centre for Gallium Nitride group of Professor Sir Colin Humphreys in the Department of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge. Building on significant know-how and IP, Paragraf will develop atom-layer thick two-dimensional materials, starting with graphene. Through its growing IP portfolio Paragraf will apply these to a range of advanced electronic, energy and medical devices to benefit society.