ZEN Graphene Solutions, in partnership with Professor Mohammad Arjmand, has announced the award of a CAD$780,000 (around USD$609,600) Alliance Grant - part from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the rest from a combination of cash and in kind contributions from ZEN).
Alliance Grants are awarded through a competitive peer review process, and this proposal, titled “Synthesis of Graphene Nanomaterials and Development of Their Multifunctional Polymer Nanocomposites”, is ZEN’s highest single monetary grant award from NSERC to date and supports NSERC’s growing interest in nanomaterials.
This grant to Dr. Mohammad Arjmand, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Advanced Materials and Polymer Engineering and his Nanomaterials and Polymer Nanocomposites Laboratory (NPNL) will enable the purchase of tensile testing equipment, a freeze dryer, and a differential scanning calorimeter. This new equipment will further improve the existing research laboratory.
ZEN, in collaboration with Dr. Arjmand’s team, has been working on multiple projects, including graphene quantum dot production and applications, graphene oxide production, graphene oxide/polyurethane foam nanocomposites, and providing technical support for other industrial and university research. ZEN has reported significant progress in all these projects, compelling the company to support this Alliance Grant application.
Dr. Mohammad Arjmand commented, “NPNL is so pleased to work with ZEN to move the boundaries of graphene science and technology. I strongly believe that this Alliance Grant will develop and commercialize graphene nanomaterials and their multifunctional polymer nanocomposites availing Canadian high-tech industries.”
ZEN Head of Research, Dr. Colin van der Kuur commented, “Dr. Arjmand’s lab has demonstrated the ability to understand the demands of industry, and his lab has been instrumental in supporting the technological success we have had in our Guelph lab. I fully expect that this four-year agreement will continue to bring significant innovation to ZEN and will result in the growth of our IP portfolio and business opportunities.”
Leveraging this Alliance Grant, Dr. Arjmand, in collaboration with ZEN, will work on three general themes as follows:
- Chemical and electrochemical synthesis of graphene quantum dots with different color emissions targeting a broad spectrum of applications, such as bio-imaging, heavy metals sensing/scavenging, and solar cells. Of note, using a current Mitacs grant with ZEN, Dr. Arjmand’s group has developed a novel technology for the synthesis of GQDs with Blue Emission, which will be available soon on ZEN’s website.
- Environmentally friendly chemical/electrochemical synthesis of graphene and chemical remediation of remnant chemicals.
- Development of molded and 3D printed multifunctional graphene/polymer nanocomposites towards high-tech industries.