A small South Korean company has succeeded in developing a world’s biggest 70-inch graphene synthetic equipment. Graphene is a new material that has 100 times faster electron movement speed than silicon. If graphene is commercialized, it is possible to improve performance of electronic devices such as appearance of audio cable without any loss of sound. It is also expected that expensive production cost, which had been a difficult problem until now, can be greatly reduced with an equipment with large area. As a South Korean company has secured such technology, it is predicted that South Korea can also occupy superiority in related markets in advance.
NPS (CEO Nam Won-sik) made an announcement on the 25th that it has developed a thin-film graphene synthetic equipment with 1000x1700mm size as a national project. If dead-zones are excluded, valid cross-sectional area of a graphene film is 900x1600mm. This equipment can mass-produce 70-inch graphene films and this is the biggest size in the world.
Starting from next month, ‘H’ company, which is a huge corporation in South Korea, will verify reliability of films that are produced by equipment from NPS. Ability of evenly forming a thin graphene film was verified by NPS. ‘H’ company will verify this equipment’s reliability and material property as an organization that supervises this national project.
“After starting off a test with 100x100mm size, we have been getting identical results on every sizes that we had tested.” said CEO Nam Won-sik of NPS. “After verifying film’s actual performance in June, we will be able to prove that our equipment has enough expandability.”
Major technology of this equipment is a ‘roll process’ that synthesizes graphenes by rolling a capacitor once. Until now, graphenes were synthesizes by leaving a capacitor flat. A roll process increases inner space and reduces power consumption.

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<70-inch graphene synthetic equipment developed by NPS >

This new equipment’s area is 5 times bigger than previous equipment with a size of 500x600mm (about 33 inches). If a equipment with flat capacitor is used, 5 times more of electricity is consumed by a 70-inch equipment. However a roll process consumes only 1.5 times more of electricity.
After releasing 33-inch graphene synthetic equipment last year for the first time, it has succeeded in increasing area of its equipment this time. 33-inch equipment was supplied to a huge South Korean corporation in March of last year. Because this equipment was also the biggest equipment at that time, it had received much attention.
Enlargement of graphene is considered as the main technology for commercialization because it was difficult to commercialize most of graphenes that were for research purposes had a size of 100x100mm. Due to this problem, production cost was high and there were limitations in using material. If 70-inch films are mass-produced, unit cost can be reduced and amount of use can be increased.
Speed of electron movement for graphenes is 100 times faster than that of silicon and graphenes can send 10 times more of current than copper. It has strength that is 200 times stronger than steel and even has flexibility. It can be used for flexible displays, transparent electrodes, ultra-light structures and others.
However related markets could not grow due to high unit cost and incomplete technologies. It is expected that if South Korea first secures mass-production technologies, it will be able to occupy advantageous position in future markets in advance. If graphenes with large areas are mass-produced, it is easier to manufacture variety of applicable products such as cables, seats and others.
“Even though graphenes have excellent material properties, their markets are not completely open due to unit cost and processes.” said CEO Nam. “Because equipment with large area can reduce production cost of final products and diversify applicable products, it will contribute hugely in commercializing graphenes.”
Staff Reporter Song, Junyoung | songjy@etnews.com