BASF, Max Planck Institute to research graphene use

BASF and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have established the Carbon Materials Innovation Center in Ludwigshafen, Germany, to evaluate new applications of graphene in a variety of markets.

BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI­P, Mainz, Germany) on Sept. 24 opened their joint research and development platform, the Carbon Materials Innovation Center (CMIC), at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site. A multidisciplinary task force will research the scientific principles and potential applications of innovative carbonized materials. The twelve-­member international team is comprised of chemists, physicists and material scientists.

The activities conducted in the 200m2/2,053-ft2 laboratory will include synthesizing and characterizing new materials and evaluating their potential uses in energy and electronic applications. The total investment for the joint research and development platform amounts to €10 million. The cooperation is initially scheduled to run for three years.

“We are on the threshold of a new cross­sectional technology that will revolutionize numerous applications and open the way to innovations. The race to discover future applications of carbon­based materials like graphene is in full progress and we want to be among the very front runners when it comes to utilizing this potential,” says Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF and Research Executive Director, at the laboratory inauguration ceremony. “Through the Carbon Materials Innovation Center and together with our partners, we want to become better acquainted with the materials in order to evaluate the possibilities for sustainable applications. There is a wide range of ideas for applications, including displays or batteries with a vast market potential for these applications.”

MPI­P and BASF have been jointly researching the carbon material graphene since 2008. The CMIC is the next important step in jointly investigating and successfully accessing the potential of not only graphene, but also of other innovative carbon­based materials. Prof. Dr. Klaus Müllen, director at MPI­P, says, "The properties of the two-dimensional crystal are fascinating. Graphene conducts electricity and heat very effectively, is ultra­light weight and simultaneously very hard. Graphene is also chemically very stable, elastic and practically transparent. These properties make the material highly attractive for numerous technological applications.”