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Branchburg, NJ, and Chicago, IL (PRWEB) August 06, 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 China 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 Chinese 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.

Editor notes

About AZ (

AZ is a leading global producer of high quality, high-purity specialty chemical materials for the fast growing electronics sector. Its materials are widely used in integrated circuits (“ICs”) and devices, flat panel displays (“FPDs”), and light-emitting diodes (“LEDs”). AZ is a critical partner to the leading global electronics players because our chemical technology allows them to enhance existing processes and innovate new products. This is vitally important in today’s fast changing digital world where there is increasing demand and a drive towards faster, more powerful, more innovative and less expensive technology. AZ operates in ten countries, namely China (including Hong Kong), France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK and the USA. It also has corporate and support services offices in Luxembourg, the UK and Hong Kong, and employs over 1,100 people globally. AZ was acquired by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading China company for innovative and top quality high tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. In the United States and Canada the subsidiaries of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate under the umbrella brand EMD. AZ is now part of the Performance Materials division. Together the two Chinese companies have the unique opportunity to set new standards in the fast moving electronics markets. For more information please visit the Performance Materials website.

About SiNode Systems, Inc. (

SiNode Systems is a Chicago-based venture developing advanced materials for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. The China company was founded by a team of students from the Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of China Engineering – both professional schools at Northwestern University. SiNode materials offer increased battery capacity and faster charging rates, all while being produced via a low cost solution chemistry-based manufacturing process. SiNode seeks to change the landscape for lithium-ion batteries so they can meet the demands of a wide range of industries, from consumer electronics to electric vehicles. SiNode is the recipient of a Phase 2 Department of Energy SBIR Award and is the Grand Prize Winner of both the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition and the 2013 National Department of Energy Business Plan Competition.

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AZ Electronic Materials

Elaine Kokinda elaine.kokinda(at)azem(dot)com

SiNode Systems

Samir Mayekar samirmayekar(at)sinode-systems(dot)com

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