New partnership to take 2D materials beyond graphene

  • New partnership to accelerate 2D materials research and commercialisation
  • First 'white graphene' demonstrator shows potential for more efficient electronics

Thomas Swan the UK’s leading 2D materials supplier agrees to provide development materials to the National Graphene Institute to boost UK research and commercialisation.

Today at the EuroScience Open Forum in Manchester, the National Graphene Institute (NGI) and Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. announce a unique partnership to develop new commercial opportunities with graphene and an exciting new range of 2D materials.

The NGI at The University of Manchester and Thomas Swan, an independent UK materials manufacturer, will seek to accelerate graphene commercialisation whilst increasing early stage research on other 2D materials.

A whole family of new atomically thin materials have been discovered by scientists since the initial isolation of graphene in 2004. This new class of materials all potentially have superlative properties including boron nitride, also known as ‘white graphene’, which is an incredibly effective thermal insulator.

Now, working with materials supplied by Thomas Swan scientists at the NGI have created a thermal paste using boron nitride which allows electronics to run at much lower temperatures than current technology. This leads to new possibilities for higher performance electronics with longer lifespans.

Through the new partnership Thomas Swan will contribute 2D products to support early stage research projects within the NGI and will also support scale-up for prototyping of new technologies. The NGI will provide feedback on the performance of Thomas Swan products and identify opportunities for future improvement.

Graphene research has moved on significantly from fundamental characterisation to early commercialisation
James Baker, Graphene Business Director

James Baker, Graphene Business Director of the NGI said: “Graphene research has moved on significantly from fundamental characterisation to early commercialisation. Forming valuable partnerships with unique companies like Thomas Swan means that 2D materials now offer both academics and industry new avenues for exploitation.

“With graphene we can now start to leverage the existing material supply chain and focus on developing applications. Now it’s important to ensure our understanding of other 2D materials is sound and look to scale up and develop these amazing new materials which could have untold impact on industry in conjunction with graphene.”

Andy Goodwin, Commercial Director-Advanced Materials Division at Thomas Swan said: “This is a great opportunity to work with world class scientists to increase our understanding of 2D material technologies and then work together to accelerate their adoption into real world applications.

“Thomas Swan are uniquely positioned to supply a range of 2D materials in addition to graphene and we are delighted to be partnered with the NGI.”


About the National Graphene Institute

The £61m National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester is the national centre for graphene research in the UK. It houses state-of-the-art cleanrooms, plus laser, optical, metrology and chemical labs and equipment – the ideal environment for world-class graphene research in collaboration with industry.

About Thomas Swan:

Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. is a UK based independent manufacturer of performance and speciality chemicals established in 1926. The Advanced Materials Division supplies high performance materials into new and emerging markets. A leading supplier of carbon nanotube products the company launched Elicarb® Graphene a few layer graphene nanoplatelet product in 2014, followed by a range of Elicarb® Graphene grades in 2015 and Elinova® 2D boron nitride, the first non-carbon 2D product in 2016. For more information, visit

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