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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K017144/1
Title: Graphene Flexible Electronics and Optoelectronics: Bridging The Gap Between Academia and Industry
Principal Investigator: Ferrari, Professor AC
Other Investigators:
Milne, Professor WI Grey, Professor CP
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Agilent Technologies Ltd Aixtron Ltd Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre
CamLase Ltd Dupont Dyson Technology
Emdot Limited Hardy Advanced Composites Johnson Matthey
Luigi Bandera Mechanical Engineering SpA Momentive Performance Materials Inc NanoBeam Limited
Nokia Novalia Plastic Logic Ltd
Polyfect Solutions Ltd Printed Electronics Limited Tonejet Limited
UCL Victrex plc Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 February 2013 Ends: 31 January 2018 Value (£): 6,883,333
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Synthesis & Growth
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Nov 2012 Graphene Engineering Interview Announced
31 Oct 2012 Graphene Engineering Sift Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
Graphene has many record properties. It is transparent like (or better than) plastic, but conducts heat and electricity better than any metal, it is an elastic thin film, behaves as an impermeable membrane, and it is chemically inert and stable. Thus it is ideal for the production of next generation transparent conductors. Thin and flexible graphene-based electronic components may be obtained and modularly integrated, and thin portable devices may be assembled and distributed. Graphene can withstand dramatic mechanical deformation, for instance it can be folded without breaking. Foldable devices can be imagined, together with a wealth of new form factors, with innovative concepts of integration and distribution.

At present, the realisation of an electronic device (such as, e.g., a mobile phone) requires the assembly of a variety of components obtained by many technologies. Graphene, by including different properties within the same material, can offer the opportunity to build a comprehensive technological platform for the realisation of almost any device component, including transistors, batteries, optoelectronic components, photovoltaic cells, (photo)detectors, ultrafast lasers, bio- and physicochemical sensors, etc. Such a change in the paradigm of device manufacturing would revolutionise the global industry. UK will have the chance to re-acquire a prominent position within the global Information and Communication Technology industry, by exploiting the synergy of excellent researchers and manufacturers.

Our vision is to take graphene from a state of raw potential to a point where it can revolutionise flexible, wearable and transparent (opto)electronics, with a manifold return for UK, in innovation and exploitation. Graphene has benefits both in terms of cost-advantage, and uniqueness of attributes and performance. It will enable cheap, energy autonomous and disposable devices and communication systems, integrated in transparent and flexible surfaces, with application to smart homes, industrial processes, environmental monitoring, personal healthcare and more. This will lead to ultimate device wearability, new user interfaces and novel interaction paradigms, with new opportunities in communication, gaming, media, social networking, sport and wellness. By enabling flexible (opto)electronics, graphene will allow the exploitation of the existing knowledge base and infrastructure of companies working on organic electronics (organic LEDs, conductive polymers, printable electronics), and a unique synergistic framework for collecting and underpinning many distributed technical competences.

The strategic focus of the proposed Cambridge Graphene Centre will be in activities built around the central challenge of flexible and energy efficient (opto)electronics, for which graphene is a unique enabling platform. This will allow us to 1) grow and produce graphene by chemical vapour deposition and liquid phase exfoliation on large scale; 2) prepare and test inks, up to a controlled and closely monitored pilot line. The target is several litres per week of optimized solutions and inks, ready to be provided to present and future partners for testing in their plants; 3) design, test and produce a variety of flexible, antennas, detectors and RF devices based on graphene and related materials, covering all present and future wavelength ranges; 4) prototype and test flexible batteries and supercapacitors and package them for implementation in realistic devices. Our present and future industrial partners will be able to conduct pilot-phase research and device prototyping in this facility, before moving to larger scale testing in realistic industrial settings. Spin-off companies will be incubated, and start-ups will be able to contract their more fundamental work to this facility.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk