Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb (hexagons or chicken-wire) crystal lattice. Researchers started to study Graphene in 2004, and since then they have found dozens of potential applications and exciting properties of this wonder material. Graphene is set to revolutionize a lot of industries, including sensors, batteries, conductors, displays, electronics, energy generation, medicine and more.
Graphene is the strongest material ever developed - 200 times stronger than steel and tougher than a diamond. It's also the world's thinnest material, and it is flexible and transparent. Graphene is also the best heat and electricity conductor. As can be expected, the research community is very excited about this material, and the business world follows suit. The commercialization of graphene is just in its infancy, but already dozens of new companies have been established to develop graphene based material, graphene production processes and other related activities.
There are over a hundred companies directly involved with graphene. Many of these companies are private start-ups in early-stages, but some pure-play graphene companies are public. The following sections will list some of those companies, and also some other investment ideas. For a more in-depth analysis of the possibility of investing in graphene, and a complete public companies listing (there are over 15 of those as of early 2016), see our Graphene Investment Guide.
Pure-play graphene companies
In the past few years several graphene producers and graphene application developers started trading in stock exchanges around the world - mostly in Australia, Canada and the UK. Here we'll list some of those companies:
Haydale (AIM:HAYD) develops and markets carbon materials under the HDPlas brand. The company is currently focused on graphene composite solutions, and the company also developed and supplies metal-free graphene-based inks.
In October 2013 we posted an article explaining Haydale's business and technology.
Applied Graphene Materials was established in 2010 as a spin-off from Durham University to develop a new graphene synthesis method and produce graphene materials. AGM's technology is a unique patented scalable 'bottom-up' CVD approach to produce graphene. AGM is a public company that lists in the UK's AIM stock exchange (AIM:AGM).
AGM mainly targets graphene composites, coatings, lubricants, thermal management solutions and energy storage devices. In FY2015, AGM reported revenues of £41,000 (up from £4,000 pounds in FY2014) and a pretax loss of £4 million. AGM reported a significantly-broadened collaboration opportunity pipeline and provided over 120 evaluation samples to customers in more than 20 countries, and has plans to raise over £10 million.
Graphene 3D Labs (TSX:GGG) is focusing on development of high-performance graphene-enhanced materials for 3D printing. The company was spun-off Graphene Labs with support from Lomiko Metals (who holds 15% of the company). In August 2014 graphene 3D Lab went public after a reverse merger with Matnic Resources.
Other graphene investment options
Several large and public companies (such as Samsung, Intel, Nokia, IBM and Sony) are involved in graphene research. These companies may be on the forefront of graphene research - especially in high-end fields such as electronics and photonics - but graphene, even if successful, will probably represent a small portion of their business.
Another option is to invest in graphene production equipment. Aixtron AG, for example, is a provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry who offers the BM Pro systems (previously called Black Magic systems) that can be used to deposit graphene using both chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Aixtron trades in the NASDAQ (ticker:AIXG), but was recently acquired by Chinese fund. US-based CVD Equipment Corporation also offers graphene R&D and production equipment. CVD Equipment trades in the NASDAQ (ticker: CVV).
Another popular alternative is to invest in graphite miners. Some these companies are also eyeing graphene - planning to start graphene production or investing in graphene related companies. Interesting companies in this industry include Mason Graphite, Lomiko Metals and Elcora Resources. Most graphite miners are based in Australia and Canada.
Interested in graphene investing? our graphene investment guide includes detailed information on over a dozen public graphene companies.
Graphene investment discussion board
Graphene-Info hosts a discussion board focused on graphene investment. This is a great place to share knowledge and tips, learn of new investment options and news. Successful investment is all about knowledge!
The latest graphene investing and financials news:
Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC) has announced that it has been awarded $350,000 CAD (around $261,000 USD) grant funding for a joint project under the National Research Council – United Kingdom (UK) Research Institute (NRC-UKRI) Research and Innovation Program. This funding will support GLC’s “Scaling of Graphene Oxide” towards the development of GLC’s Environmental platform of products.
“This project will support scale up activities of graphene oxide with a focus on developing a cost effective, scalable production method aimed at commercializing our environmental platform of products for air and water treatment,” said Dr. Leah Coumont, GLC’s Director of R&D.
Zen Graphene Solutions recently announced that it has been awarded a $1,000,000 CAD (around $742,600 USD) grant that will accelerate ZEN’s graphene-enhanced concrete research and development project.
According to Zen, the grant may potentially help achieve the goal to provide cement-based composite products to the Ontario market by possibly early 2020. The grantor will reimburse 50% up to a maximum of $1,000,000 spent by ZEN on relevant expenses directly related to graphite purification, graphene production research, concrete additive research and large-scale graphene-enhanced concrete testing.
Skeleton Technologies, an Estonia-based company that produces graphene-based supercapacitors and energy storage systems, is to invest €25 million in its plant located in the German state of Saxony. With this investment, Skeleton aims to expand its research and development as well as scale its production.
"In 2017, we announced our first stage in Saxony — €6.2 million were invested in the production of ultracapacitors in Großröhrsdorf," Skeleton co-founder and CEO Taavi Madiberk said in a press release. "We have successfully entered the market and helped save fuel and reduce emissions from buses, trucks, railway vehicles and industrial machinery".
Norway-based Graphene Oxide developer Abalonyx reports that its graphene oxide sales have increased by about 80 % in 2018, and this follows a 70% increase in 2017 compared to 2016. The company expects to see further strong sales growth in 2019.
Abalonyx says that over 90% of its sales derive from returning industrial partners. The company also revealed two of these customers: ORA Graphene Audio with its GO membranes and Provexa AB which developed an anti-corrosion protection coating that is now being used on Scania trucks.
Directa Plus has reported that it more than doubled annual revenues, as its various commercial partnerships started to generate orders. Total income in 2018 reportedly rose to €2.5 Million (compared to last year's €1.23 Million) with sales of €2.25 Million (compared to last year's €1 Million) if grants are excluded.