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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K016636/1
Title: CVD enabled Graphene Technology and Devices (GRAPHTED)
Principal Investigator: Hofmann, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Wilkinson, Professor T Keyser, Professor UF Nathan, Professor A
Robertson, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Aixtron Ltd Intel Corporation Ltd Leonardo UK ltd
Philips Thales Ltd
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 February 2013 Ends: 31 January 2018 Value (£): 2,290,948
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Nov 2012 Graphene Engineering Interview Announced
31 Oct 2012 Graphene Engineering Sift Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Graphene is a single layer of graphite just one atom thick. As a material it is completely new - not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. It is almost completely transparent, yet as a conductor of electricity it performs as well or even better than copper. Since the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to UK researchers in this field, fundamental graphene research has attracted much investment by industry and governments around the world, and has created unprecedented excitement. There have been numerous proof-of concept demonstrations for a wide range of applications for graphene. Many applications require high quality material, however, most high quality graphene to date is made by exfoliation with scotch tape from graphite flakes. This is not a manufacturable route as graphene produced this way is prohibitively expensive, equivalent to £10bn per 12" wafer. For high quality graphene to become commercially viable, its price needs to be reduced to £30-100 per wafer, a factor of 100 million. Hence graphene production and process technology is the key bottleneck to be overcome in order to unlock its huge application potential. Overcoming this bottleneck lies at the heart of this proposal.

Our proposal aims to develop the potential of graphene into a robust and disruptive technology. We will use a growth method called chemical vapour deposition (CVD) as the key enabler, and address the key questions of industrial materials development. CVD was the growth method that opened up diamond, carbon nanotubes and GaN to industrial scale production. Here it will be developed for graphene as CVD has the potential to give graphene over large areas at low cost and at a quality that equals that of the best exfoliated flakes. CVD is also a quite versatile process that enables novel strategies to integrate graphene with other materials into device architectures. In collaboration with leading industrial partners Aixtron UK, Philips, Intel, Thales and Selex Galileo, we will develop novel integration routes for a diverse set of near-term as well as future applications, for which graphene can outperform current materials and allows the use of previously impossible device form factors and functionality.

We will integrate graphene for instance as a transparent conductor into organic light emitting diodes that offer new, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for general lighting, including a flexible form factor that could revolutionize traditional lighting designs. We will also integrate graphene into liquid crystal devices that offer ultra high resolution and novel optical storage systems. Unlike currently used materials, graphene is also transparent in the infrared range, which is of great interest for many sensing applications in avionics, military imaging and fire safety which we will explore. Furthermore, we propose to develop a carbon based interconnect technology to overcome the limitations Cu poses for next generation microelectronics. This is a key milestone in the semiconductor industry roadmap. As a potential disruptive future technology, we propose to integrate graphene into so called lab-on-a-chip devices tailored to rapid single-molecule biosensing. These are predicted to revolutionize clinical analysis in particular regarding DNA and protein structure determination.

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.cam.ac.uk