This work proposes to create the Enhancing Nanotechnology Advances in Businesses Leveraging Energy (ENABLE) program to accomplish the goals set forth by the NSF's Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) programs Option 2, Research Alliance Competition. ENABLE will leverage an existing Collaboration for Leveraging Energy And Nanotechnology (CLEAN) Partnership For Innovation (NSF PFI) program currently in process, and will assist researchers' close collaboration with three companies (Magnolia Solar, Nexeon and MTech) and a regional innovation partner (NYSERDA) to build on the emerging innovative ecosystem in New York State. Research objectives will be based on industry input to improve performance/cost targets, achieving milestones and economies of scale by increasing process throughput, yield and reliability over large areas. The goal is to accelerate transition of recent developments in graphene research, into clean-energy based commercial products for the company partners, in order to have a positive economic impact throughout New York State.

Advances in graphene-based materials are expected to give rise to significant opportunities to create multifunctional electrode structures for solar cells, smart windows, supercapacitors, thermoelectric devices, batteries etc. Third party funding from NYSERDA will be utilized to expand the innovation ecosystem by providing commercialization assistance to the industry partners in the form of services to assist with business plans, marketing plans, technology roadmaps, establishing partnerships and raising private investments. ENABLE is expected to develop and commercialize innovations and create economic development opportunities, resulting in green jobs in the U.S., as well as ensuring independent and secure energy resources for the nation.

Project Report

Graphene is one of the most versatile materials. The goal of the team is to develop prototype graphene-based devices and to enable early adoption of this promising material in several energy related applications. To meet the goals of the program, we have partnered with three small businesses to target specific applications where graphene’s potential can be realized. This synergistic teaming helps the team stay focused and develop devices that are important for these companies. In addition, we have partnered with a regional innovation partner to build renewable energy ecosystem in New York State. The energy related products that we are developing are liquid crystal (LC) based smart windows, photovoltaics with graphene enabled transparent and conducting electrodes, and supercapacitors. Central to the development of these devices is the quality of the graphene. Wihtin this grogram, we have significantly improved the quality of our graphene films, as demonstrated through microscopy analysis and transport measurements. We have improved the size of the grain from an average of 0.2micron to over 10micron. In addition, we have improved the mobility of the graphene from 2000 to over 10,000cm2/V-sec. The energy ecosystem we have developed allows seamless interaction with partners and CNSE. We continue to work partner with existing and new partners, taking advantage of recent NYS initiatives that provide incentives for companies to co-locate within colleges across the state.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
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Barbara H. Kenny
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Suny at Albany
United States
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