SiNode has been selected as a finalist to compete in the SXSW Eco Startup Showcase from October 6-8, 2014. We will join a flight of top tier companies in the energy sector – for more info please click here.
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.
SiNode Systems was recently recognized as a successful example of the “Corporate-Startup Challenge” program conceived by the Illinois Innovation Council and managed by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC). The Corporate-Startup Challenge provides avenues for partnership and collaboration between promising local start-ups and Illinois corporate entities. SiNode’s strong relationship with Motorola Mobility is a direct result of the initiative and we are very thankful and excited for our continued involvement.
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Board Member
Prior to SiNode, Samir most recently worked with the business development team at Boeing Defense Systems in Arlington, Virginia and as an investment banker at Credit Suisse in Chicago. He previously served in the Obama Administration at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the White House. Samir started his career as a management consultant in Chicago with Marakon Associates focusing on clients in the industrials sector. Samir holds a B.A. from Northwestern University (summa cum laude) and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management, where he was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. He is a guest lecturer on energy and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University.
Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer, Board Member
Cary is a co-inventor of the core SiNode technology and will receive his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2014. He has has expertise in research and development with graphene, silicon, and other materials. His work includes developing flexible, high-energy composite materials as anode and cathode technologies for Li-ion batteries. He is an author on five publications and one patent. Cary has dual bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from the University of Minnesota, as well as previous experience in computational chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and sustainability.
Co-Founder, Lead Engineer, Board Member
Josh has multiple years of electrochemical research experience in solid-oxide fuel cell applications from work conducted at Functional Coating Technologies. There, he served crucial roles in both fuel cell fabrication operations and characterization. His experiences include electrode slurry optimization, screen-printing, button cell assembly, electrochemical testing and SEM characterization. He holds a B.S. and M.S. from Northwestern University’s school of materials science with an emphasis in nanotechnology.
Ashok Rao is Serial Entrepreneur with four successful high technology start ups. He successfully took one of them public with a market cap in excess of $400 million. He has been the President of the North-American operations of Enron Corporation from 1996/1997. Subsequently, he founded Trex Communications. He is the President of TIE Houston Chapter, and is currently a Board Member of TiE Global.
George is Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at Greabatch, a leading manufacturer of medical devices including implantable batteries. He leads the Company’s technology innovation and product development activities across all business segments. He also is responsible for overseeing the QiG Group, the Company’s research and development subsidiary. Prior to joining Greatbatch in 2010, George held positions of progressive responsibility, leading technology and product commercialization efforts within Procter & Gamble, Gillette, Duracell and Alcoa.
Jason is CEO & Managing Director of Energy Foundry, an energy and cleantech impact venture capital fund, where he sets the firm’s vision, leads its investment activities, and advises its entrepreneurs. Jason is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he teaches energy and cleantech entrepreneurship. Prior to co-founding Energy Foundry, Jason co-founded Energy Results, where he was the company’s CEO. Before co-founding Energy Results, Jason worked at McKinsey & Co. where he was a member of the firm’s Energy & Climate Change leadership teams.
Sara Hochman is Managing Director of Energy Foundry, an energy and cleantech impact venture capital fund. Prior to joining Energy Foundry, Sara co-managed the government consulting practice for clean technology startups at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she successfully led multiple teams through more than two dozen federal and state grant and loan applications, including over $300 million in research grants, loans and guaranteed loan funding. Sara’s previous experience includes roles with GE Energy and GaiaTech. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and a BA in Environmental Studies from Emory University
Industry Advisory Board
Bharat Chahar is a retired executive from ConocoPhillips. He served as the technology director of the Emerging Technology Group of ConocoPhillips Inc., where he led identification, selection and development of new technologies and technology related businesses in the areas of heavy oil upgrading and carbon products. Most recently he served as the company's product manager for Composite Graphite in Houston, where he led the global sales and marketing efforts, product development and IP management for CPreme(R) graphite Li-ion anode materials. Bharat is currently serving as VP, Market Development for Zenyatta Ventures Ltd, a junior graphite mining company based in Ontario, Canada.
Industry Advisory Board
Ron Turi is the Founder of Element 3 Battery Ventures LLC, where he draws upon more than 20 years of engineering experience in the battery industry to identify critical steps in the product development cycle in order to provide strategic planning plus deep insight to tie technology objectives to business timelines. Ron's professional experience includes management positions at Lithium Technology Corporation, Rexam Corporation, and Union Camp Corporation.
Technical Advisory Board
Dr. Kung is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University, where his areas of research include surface chemistry, catalysis, and chemical reaction engineering. Dr. Kung is the co-inventor of SiNode's core battery materials technology. His professional experience includes work as a research chemist at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc. He is recipient of the P.H. Emmett Award and the Robert Burwell Lectureship Award from the North American Catalysis Society, the Herman Pines Award of the Chicago Catalysis Club, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship, the John McClanahan Henske Distinguished Lectureship of Yale University, and the Olaf A. Hougen Professorship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Technical Advisory Board
Mark C. Hersam is currently a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Medicine at Northwestern University. His research interests include nanofabrication, scanning probe microscopy, semiconductor surfaces, and carbon nanomaterials. As a faculty member, Dr. Hersam has received several awards including the Beckman Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER Award, ARO Young Investigator Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, Sloan Research Fellowship, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, TMS Robert Lansing Hardy Award, AVS Peter Mark Award, ECS SES Research Young Investigator Award, MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award, and five Teacher of the Year Awards. In 2007, Dr. Hersam co-founded NanoIntegris, which is a start-up company focused on supplying high performance carbon nanomaterials.
Technical Advisory Board
Dr. Liu is currently the Director, Energy Processes and Materials Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He possesses a strong background in materials synthesis, colloidal and surface science, and high-resolution electron microscopy. He joined PNNL in 1992, became a Laboratory Fellow in 2000, and over time initiated and led a broad range of basic and applied research programs in materials science. In addition to his division director role, he currently serves as the Cross-Science Lead on the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. Dr. Liu has more than 300 peer reviewed publications, has received more than 40 U.S. patents, was named a Distinguished Inventor of Battelle in 2007, and was selected as PNNL's 2012 Inventor of the Year.
Industry Advisory Board
With more than 170 patents issued or pending, Bill Alberth is a leading innovator in the wireless communications field. Mr. Alberth is presently consulting several startups and established corporations on topics of Technology, Wireless Technology, and Intellectual Property.
As Mobile Devices Chief Technology Officer at Motorola, Mr. Alberth was responsible for developing differentiating technologies. Mr. Alberth was a Dan Noble Fellow, and a Member of Motorola's Science Advisory Board. He regularly consults on Technology licensing, Technology investment, acquisitions and has also served as an expert legal witness. He is a regular consultant to Carriers on Wireless Connectivity and Emerging Technologies, and has presented to the FCC on Spectrum and other topics. He has over 25 years of experience in digital communications, RF systems engineering, digital signal processing, energy systems, and new technology introductions.