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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L016087/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Graphene Technology
Principal Investigator: Ferrari, Professor AC
Other Investigators:
Milne, Professor WI Hasan, Professor T
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Agilent Technologies Ltd Aixtron Ltd BAE Systems
CambridgeIP Diamond Light Source Dupont
Dyson Technology IDTechEx Ltd IMEC
Nanocyl SA Nippon Kayaku Co Ltd Nokia
Novalia Philips Plastic Logic Ltd
Polyfect Solutions Ltd Printed Electronics Limited Toshiba
Victrex plc
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 31 March 2023 Value (£): 4,812,552
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel F Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Technologies, and our economy in general, usually advance either by incremental steps (e.g. scaling the size and number of transistors on a chip) or by quantum leaps (transition from vacuum tubes to semiconductor technologies). Disruptive technologies behind such revolutions are usually characterised by universal, versatile applications, which change many aspects of our life simultaneously, penetrating every corner of our existence. To become disruptive, a new technology needs to offer not incremental, but dramatic, orders of magnitude improvements. Moreover, the more universal the technology, the better chances it has for broad base success. This can be summarized by the "Lemma of New Technology", proposed by Herbert Kroemer: "The principal applications of any sufficiently new and innovative technology always have been - and will continue to be - applications created by that technology". Graphene is the first of a new class of materials with huge potential for applications, including tens of other two-dimensional crystals, hetero-structures based on these crystals, and their hybrids with metallic and semiconducting quantum dots and other nanomaterials. A key step to advance the commercial viability of graphene is to harness the emerging capability in graphene technology - including novel applications and production technologies. 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 easily 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. 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.

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, may 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 physico-chemical sensors, etc. UK will have the chance to re-acquire a prominent position within the global industry, by exploiting the synergy of excellent researchers and manufacturers.

Skilled people are the most important ingredient for the successful implementation of this vision. The proposed CDT will strengthen the essential cross-disciplinary collaborations, develop new research activities and increase impact. The large investments that public and private bodies in UK, EU and worldwide are devoting to graphene technologies call for trained and qualified people. The huge demand requires a specific programme to train PhD students in technology of graphene and related materials, with a strong focus on the cutting-edge engineering and industrial applications. Our CDT will be an important step to meet this demand, providing a set of transferable skills and wide know-how, not limited to the material, but spanning the state of the art in flexible and wearable electronics, photonics, energy storage, RF systems, etc.

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