$1 Million in Funding to Support MSU Spinoff XG Sciences

July 12, 2010

An agreement between Korean-based conglomerate Hanwha Group and a Michigan State University spinoff will lead to $1 million in funding to XG Sciences, Inc. and further research on a nanomaterial discovered and developed at MSU—xGnP® brand Graphene (Graphite) Nanoplatelets.

“This collaboration represents a major milestone in our development and an important recognition of the significance of our technology by a worldwide leader in advanced materials,” said Lawrence T. Drzal, University Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and one of the original founders of XG Sciences, Inc., a spinoff company formed in 2006.

Hanwha is the ninth largest conglomerate in Korea, with sales of over $25 billion. They produce chemicals, munitions, plastics and similar materials for aerospace, automotive and consumer goods industries.

Initial funding and support for graphene nanoplatelet research was provided by MSU and a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s 21st Century Jobs Fund. The key to the material’s capabilities is a fast and inexpensive process for separating layers of graphite (graphene) into stacks less than 10 nanometers in thickness but with lateral dimensions anywhere from 100 nm to several microns, coupled with the ability to tailor the particle surface chemistry to make it compatible with water, resin or plastic systems. Adding xGnP® graphene nanoplatelets to polymers at low concentrations results in nanocomposites that are multifunctional in that they possess an array of enhanced properties—including improved strength and significantly increased electrical and thermal conductivity—leading to new and expanded applications.

“It is exciting to see how fast the commercial interest in this material is progressing,” said Michael R. Knox, CEO of XG Sciences, Inc. “One of the main reasons for Hanwha’s interest is the potential synergy of our materials with a variety of their products, as well as the knowledge and research capabilities of MSU scientists to help tailor these materials for applications ranging from advanced composites to electronics and energy storage.”

The official agreement was signed on July 12 at MSU by the presidents of Hanwha Corporation and XG Sciences.

Hanwha Corporation has made a major commitment to growth in the United States. They recently acquired AZDEL Inc., a manufacturer of high-performance thermoplastic composites designed for both interior and exterior applications including automotive, heavy truck, recreational vehicles, industrial and other transportation applications. They are also about to establish a research facility in the Detroit, Mich., area.

To learn more about XG Sciences and xGnP® technology, go to http://www.xgsciences.com/about/.