A Cork native and UCC engineering graduate, Dr Ivor Guiney, has co-founded Paragraf, a Cambridge University spinout that claims to have an edge in manufacturing the wonder material graphene.
Paragraf raised €3.3m this week to support the development of its first products. Taking on the role of CTO, Guiney – who has worked extensively in the semiconductor industry – is joined by co-founders who are materials science faculty colleagues of his, Dr Simon Thomas and Prof Colin Humphreys.
Among the firm’s backers are Amadeus Capital Partners, whose founder is Austrian billionaire Hermann Hauser, a Cambridge tech and VC veteran who helped to create the English city’s world-renowned tech, innovation and investment community that spun out from its academic prowess, earning the name ‘Silicon Fen.’
“Using a proprietary, patent protected approach Paragraf has overcome the problems of poor uniformity, reproducibility, limited size and material contamination that have stymied all current graphene manufacturing techniques,” the company said.
“We have developed the first production technique that allows true scaling of graphene-based devices,” Thomas added.
“Our underlying research has the capability to transform production by providing good quality, large-area graphene on a commercial scale,” Humphreys said.
“Paragraf’s novel approach to two-dimensional materials fabrication brings the possibility of mass market graphene-based devices a step closer to reality,” Hauser added.
Graphene is a super-strong, lightweight material which promises longer range electric cars and longer-lasting smartphone batteries, lighter, stronger cars and planes, improved water desalination technology and bendable touchscreens. It is about as valuable as gold. There is a global race to produce high volumes of it, which requires graphite, which is abundant and relatively cheap.