In 2019, Dr. Stephen Clarke founded QuanVerge and was formed to acquire, continue and combine the assets and of multiple entities involved in the development and commercialization of Magnéli materials, under the Ebonex® brand.
Over the first few years our focus was to re-establish the quality and integrity of the Ebonex® brand, removing unauthorized use of our trademarks, and establishing a secure and trusted supply chain.
Recognizing widely shared concerns around IP loss and supply chain integrity, we have avoided any PRC involvement in our supply chains, with supply established exclusively and locally in our primary US and EU markets.
2019 - Now
Shortly after, Ebonex Technologies, Inc., (ETI) was formed in Emeryville, CA, by Robert Clarke, to acquire the technology, patents, and know-how from IMI Ltd., initially in a funding partnership with the UK’s ICI. ETI registered Ebonex® as its trademark, which became the recognized badge of quality for Magnéli phase materials. Two of the first applications of Ebonex® were as anodes for Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) of rebar in reinforced concrete and salt-water electro-chlorination, where they proved durable and reliable over decades of operation.
In 1991 ETI was restructured and relocated to the UK with Robert Clarke’s son Dr Stephen Clarke joining the company to lead its expansion.
In 1993, Atraverda was subsequently re-structured into two separate entities. Atraverda was slimmed down and re- focused entirely on an advanced battery based on Ebonex® electrodes.
Meanwhile, Robert and Steve Clarke formed a new entity to continue developing more advanced Magnéli Phase materials and coating technologies for applications in batteries, water treatment, fuel cells, metals recovery and H2 generation. This became the world’s first deep tech incubator, focused on electrochemical processes and materials, with substantial research and engineering facilities in the US, UK and Canada and multiple successful spin-offs through licensing, trade sales and IPO.
Over the subsequent 3 decades, successful collaborative research programs were completed with dozens of leading universities, research institutions and government laboratories and Ebonex® became the trusted mark of quality and supply chain integrity.
1990s - 2010's
Ebonex Technologies & Atraverda
In the early 1980s, IMI’s Dr. Peter Hayfield, working in the UK, developed the first commercially viable method for producing bulk powders, and formed ceramics, consisting primarily of Ti4O7, Ti5O9 and Ti6O11.
Working with Robert Clarke, Prof. Peter Millington, and others at UMIST, Imperial College, University of Southampton and elsewhere, it was quickly discovered that these materials offered significant potential as corrosion resistant anodes and catalyst supports for a broad range of electrochemical applications.
1970's - 1980's
Imperial Metals Industries (IMI) Ltd.
Pioneering Swedish crystallographer, Arne Magnéli is credited with identifying the shear plane dislocations, in certain transition metal sub-oxides and more specifically determining that these were the basis of their electrical conductivity and lubricity. His work started in the 1940’s, with partially oxidized tungsten and molybdenum. Later work included other transition metals and in particular titanium sub-oxides where he identified and characterized the shear plane dislocations in what are now known as the Magnéli Phases.
These dislocated shear planes are the same mechanism gives rise to graphite’s properties, of which Graphene is a single sheet bounded, by two cleaved shear planes.
Magnéli Phase sub-oxides of titanium have individually identifiable X-ray diffraction spectra and are not simply doped titania or casual mixtures of TiOx. They are a range of distinct compounds having a general formula TinO2n-1 where n= 3 – 10 (e.g. Ti3O5, Ti4O7, Ti5O9, Ti6O11…). However, Ti3O5, is unstable, and as such it typically ignored, with Ti4O7 being both the most conductive and the most stable.
Other metal sub-oxides such as V2O3 also embody “Magnéli shear planes”, as do certain precise combinations of transition metal oxides, that we have developed.
Ti4O7 is by far the best known and most studied Magnéli Phase material, and this is where our journey began.
History of Magneli Phase Materials and Legacy of Ebonex®
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