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AZ Electronic Materials and SiNode Systems sign Joint Development Agreement

Branchburg, NJ, and Chicago, IL (August 1, 2014) – AZ Electronic Materials (“AZ”), a business unit of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and a leading global producer of high quality, high-purity specialty chemical materials used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, flat panel displays and LEDs, and SiNode Systems, Inc. (“SiNode”), a materials science company headquartered in Chicago, IL developing advanced materials for the energy storage market, announce they have entered into a Joint Development Agreement with the goal of commercializing graphene-based materials for lithium-ion batteries.

AZ has exclusive worldwide rights to the high yield preparation methods of graphene oxide invented by Dr. James Tour’s group at Rice University, TX. SiNode has exclusive worldwide rights to silicon-graphene electrode materials developed in Dr. Harold Kung’s group at Northwestern University. Under the Joint Development Agreement, AZ and SiNode will develop graphene-based electrode materials that deliver both higher energy density and improved rate capabilities, enabling longer lasting, faster charging lithium-ion batteries.

Pairing AZ’s graphene oxide with SiNode’s novel electrode materials technology offers battery manufacturers a significant improvement in cell level performance. Prototype tests have demonstrated how layering nanosilicon in between porous graphene sheets creates passages for rapid Li-ion diffusion while also buffering silicon expansion during lithiation, enabling high storage capacity at high rates with extended cycling stability.

Geoff Wild, AZ’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), commented: “Our collaboration with SiNode provides AZ with the opportunity to bring new material solutions to our customers in our core business and to help SiNode enhance the production scale of their energy storage materials. SiNode’s highly innovative nanomaterials platform coupled with AZ’s unique precursor materials will result in strong product pipelines for both companies.”

SiNode’s Co-Founder and CEO Samir Mayekar,said: “Partnering with AZ will allow us to accelerate the commercialization of graphene-based materials to meet the demand of the growing energy storage market. As consumers increasingly adopt mobile and wearable devices, AZ and SiNode will provide the value-added materials to power the needs of the on-the-go consumer.”

SiNode is expanding its state-of-the-art R&D and pilot manufacturing facility in Chicago, IL in order to accelerate these commercialization efforts.

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