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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J018651/1
Title: Disruptive Optoelectronic Manufacture using Graphene
Principal Investigator: Nash, Professor G
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Kittiwake Procal Ltd QinetiQ Swiss Federal Institute of TEC
University of Augsburg University of Bristol
Department: Engineering Computer Science and Maths
Organisation: University of Exeter
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 May 2012 Ends: 31 October 2017 Value (£): 963,403
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Processing
Optoelect. Devices & Circuits
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Feb 2012 Fellowships in Manufacturing Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Semiconductor devices such as LEDs and lasers underpin many areas of modern life such as communications, consumer electronics and sensing. However, cost-effective, practical sources are not available for many important parts of the spectrum. For example, mid-infrared sources are required for use in gas sensing systems in which the gas concentration is determined by measuring the amount of light absorbed. Many important gases, including atmospheric pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, have their strongest characteristic absorption in this part of the spectrum and new sensors are needed to help meet increasing legislative requirements. However, it is not only extremely challenging to realise devices at these wavelengths, but it is also complicated and costly to produce them. This has resulted in much component manufacture occurring outside the UK, which puts UK sensing and instrument manufacturers at a disadvantage compared to overseas competitors.

This proposal aims to revolutionise the manufacture of these components by developing novel devices that utilise the unique properties of graphene. This two dimensional sheet of carbon atoms is extremely strong, light and has is an extremely good electrical and thermal conductor. Part of this work will be aimed at trying to exploit these properties to develop a solid-state equivalent of a Free Electron Laser, which would create laser sources at wavelengths at which there are no alternatives, and the operation of which would challenge established notions of laser operation. Ultimately, the manufacture of graphene based components could be less expensive and more sustainable than conventional semiconductor devices.

In turn this will impact the manufacture of products containing these components such as gas sensors and analysers and therefore provide UK sensor and analyser manufacturers a route to new products by initiating a graphene based component industry.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk