Biomedical, Engineering and physical science

Methods for the Production of for C-C Cross-Coupling Reactions Supported on Graphene

The technology

Researchers at VCU have developed a simple and consistent method for the production of graphene and metal nanoparticle catalysts supported on graphene for cross-coupling reactions. This has the ability to use either microwave or laser irradiation to synthesize graphene from solid graphite oxide, producing a high yield of uniform, highly stable catalysts, which can be easily removed and recycled (10x more than traditional methods). Additionally, the laser photo-thermal process eliminates the need for chemical reducing agents, thereby offering a dramatically simplified method. These methods allow for a consistent method for producing high-quality graphene as well as increased control of the structure of the graphene to help drive reactivity of the catalyst.

Graphene’s unique hexagonal atomic layer structure, high electron mobility at room temperature, thermal, chemical and mechanical stability, as well as its high surface area make it the optimal material to support nanoparticle particle production. Additionally, graphene support has been shown to provide significant advantages in the area of carbon-carbon cross-coupling reactions. VCU researchers have further synthesized new catalysts using these methods, including palladium nanoparticles through palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. These methods and catalysts offer a number of advantages over well-known commercial options and show great promise for further enhancements in this field.

Pictures and models showing how microwave or laser irradiation synthesizes graphene from solid graphite oxide [View Image]


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  • Reduced toxicity of catalysts
  • Organic support of Pd-based catalysts
  • Simpler, more economical method of production
  • Consistent high-quality & environmentally friendly products
  • High reactivity, stability and recyclability of catalyst


  • Pharmaceutical synthesis
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Catalyze cross-coupling reactions
  • Synthesis of liquid hydrocarbons
  • New energy technologies including solar panels, improved batteries, and storage of hydrogen gas


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  • $10,000 conversion fee
  • Royalty rate of 3% (2% for VA companies)
  • For VA start-ups, royalty free for first $100,000 in sales; 2% thereafter

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Additional information


  • M. Samy El-Shall, Ph.D.
  • Frank Gupton, Ph.D.
  • Ali Siamaki, Ph.D.

External resources:

Patent status:

Patent issued

License status:

This technology is available for licensing to industry for further development and commercialization.


Biomedical, Engineering and physical science

VCU Tech #:

09-099, 10-023

Contact us about
this technology

Brent Fagg, MS
Licensing Associate
(804) 827-2211