Who are 2D fab? What do we do? And how did graphene become such a hot topic so fast? A couple of weeks ago our CTO, Magnus Larsson, held a keynote at Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall, answering all the important questions.
In various ways, researchers provide knowledge and new solutions to the green transition that is necessary, urgent, and highly relevant. In the middle of March 2023, the research centre Fibre Science and Communication Network, held a conference on wood fibre, cellulose, energy materials and resource-efficient manufacturing processes. The research centre, which is part of Mid Sweden University, invited our CTO Magnus Larsson, to be one of two keynote speakers. These are some of the questions he answered during his speech.
What is graphene?
Graphene is simply one atomic layer of graphite arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The material has a layered structure, with strong bonds in each layer, but weak bonds between each layer. Scientist have known about graphene for a long time, but the material was first discovered in 2004, when a couple of scientists managed to isolate graphene by using regular scotch tape on a piece of graphite.
How did graphene become such a hot topic?
The discovery of graphene was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 and had by then already become a hot topic within the scientific community. Graphene was a brand-new material, with superior characteristics. A super material, some would say. But graphene was not only a brand-new material – it was also the first 2D material to ever be discovered. Graphene provided the world with proof that 2D materials exist!
Who are 2D fab?
2D fab is today a large-scale producer of graphene. But that was not always the case. 2D fab started off as a research project at Mid Sweden University when Sven Forsberg, chemist and researcher at Fibre Science and Communication Network, was working with paper-based energy storage systems and needed a material with good conductivity. Graphene had just been awarded the Noble Prize, and the material sure did have great conductivity. The problem was that graphene was not easily available at the time – but maybe he could manufacture it himself? He came up with the idea of extracting graphene from graphite using the same process that extracts nanomaterials from cellulose. It was a great idea, but he probably was not the most popular guy in the building when he started producing very black graphene using the same production used for very white cellulose…
What does 2D fab do today?
2D fab was founded in 2013, and a lot has happened since. During the first years 2D fab was a small R&D company with a pilot plant. Ten years later, the company has grown in every way possible. We have a production capacity of ten tons per annum and incredibly competent employees from regional industries and universities. 2D fab primarily work with graphene-enhanced plastics, adhesives, and concrete. It is important for us to contribute to the sustainable transition. We have an energy efficient production process and develop sustainable products with a longer lifespan together with our customers.