LayerOne (formerly Abalonyx) and SINTEF (a Norway-based research institute) have secured funding from The Norwegian Research Council for the development of innovative, scalable and sustainable conductive inks based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The rGO-based inks promise improved electrical conductivity and stability surpassing traditional carbon-based inks and offering a less toxic and more cost-effective alternative to metal-based inks.
The research project is a result of LayerOne’s recent breakthrough in developing a new grade of rGO with an electrical conductivity two orders of magnitude greater than standard rGO grades. In the project, LayerOne will supply the advanced rGO materials while SINTEF will leverage and build on its experience from recently concluded projects on printed electronics to develop the new conductive inks.
The project, valued at 18 million NOK (over USD$1,728,000), has been awarded 9 million NOK (over USD$864,000) in funding from the Norwegian Research Council.
According to Christian Dethloff, CEO of LayerOne, this innovative rGO-based technology is expected to have a positive impact on various electronic equipment such as RFID tags, sensors, circuits, and even high-tech clothing with integrated electronics.
“In addition to being a more cost-effective alternative, our rGO technology will also have a lower impact on the environment compared to metal-based inks, making it an attractive solution for companies seeking to reduce their environmental footprint”, said Christian F. Dethloff, CEO in LayerOne
“We aim to implement an innovative manufacturing process for rGO that minimizes energy consumption, in conjunction with the development of a new and more conductive rGO material. Our approach will ensure lower manufacturing costs with premium product purity and quality”, said Filippo Giordanino, Chief Technical Officer, LayerOne.
According to the company's research, traditional carbon-based inks often offer low electrical conductivity and are low-cost, while metal-based inks provide better performance but at a higher cost. However, there is still a significant gap in terms of both performance and cost between these two technologies. LayerOne's graphene-based conductive inks address this gap by providing improved conductivity compared to traditional carbon-based inks at a reasonable additional cost, making them a cost-effective alternative to metal inks and a premium product compared to carbon-based inks.
“This breakthrough technology has the potential to have a significant impact on a range of electronic applications and we look forward to participating in this exciting industrial project”, said Branson Belle, Senior Researcher at SINTEF.
The sustainable manufacturing processes in GraphInk will make it possible to produce environmentally friendly products, reducing energy consumption, the use of hazardous substances and waste generation, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.