Continued emergence of graphene and its application in biotech is being led by homegrown tech company Archer Materials (ASX: AXE) which has secured access to a $150 million world-class research facility to advance their biochip development.
The facility provides Archer with instruments to test its semiconductor device production processes. Key to the deep tech access they have secured is the fact their biochip technology integrates materials like graphene, which is one-atom ‘thick’ in size. Because of this, there are very few facilities in the world that can perform materials’ analysis on precision-engineered nanoscale devices.
“We are very pleased to secure access to world-class facilities that would otherwise be extremely costly to purchase and operate ourselves,” said Archer CEO, Dr Mohammad Choucair.
“Archer’s growth has involved integrating the Company’s early-stage tech development within institutional scale operations, and this ultimately translates to maintaining a strong cash position and no corporate debt.”
Instruments within the University of Sydney facility enable Archer to utilise multimillion-dollar advanced spectrometers for chemical and biological imaging at the nanoscale, and protein production facilities.
The primary aim of this biotech project, which is a subset of their work in quantum computing, is to produce sub-10 nanometre sized biochips. Due to the atomic size of these biochips, hundreds of millions could potentially be combined on a 1cm2 biochip.
According to the Company, precision nano-engineering of Archer’s biochip semiconductor devices would be a global competitive advantage in the multibillion-dollar medtech industry.
At present, the biggest impediment to commercialising this technology is the nanofabrication that links to high-value advanced manufacturing. If successful, the end-use of these biochips being developed by Archer would be complex detection of respiratory conditions, as they remain the world’s most deadly communicable diseases. By miniaturising the biochip transistor components for graphene integration, there is further potential to screen for broad-scope functionality in multiplexing for disease detection.
Application of graphene for quantum computing remains at the heart of Archer’s technology where the Company was recently awarded patent protection in Japan for their 12CQ quantum computing chip while other applications are being processed in the US and China.