Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms held together in a honeycomb array, has a fascinating and exotic range of properties many of which still remain underexplored and that have placed it in the vanguard of modern materials research. With possible applications in high speed electronic devices, solar cells, super capacitors, batteries, thermoelectric devices, super transistors, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), sensors, genetic sequencing and hydrogen storage materials, the potential impact of graphene is almost limitless. However, despite the interest in this fascinating material, current graphene synthesis methods, including exfoliation, epitaxial growth, graphite oxidation or chemical vapour deposition (CVD), have significant drawbacks including limits to size of thin film produced, the number of layers of graphene formed, restrictions to the types of surfaces onto which graphene layers are produced, lack of control over multilayer formation, as well as a requirement for high temperature reaction conditions and long time periods to produce high quality graphene; all of which inhibit the long term utility and eventual commercialisation of graphene-based materials. Our goal is therefore to advance and accelerate the commercial exploitation of graphene by developing new routes to the manufacture, patterning and functionalisation of graphene-based materials. Our proposal leverages the very significant existing capabilities of the EPSRC-HEFCE funded Exeter-Bath Centre for Graphene Science (CfGS), comprising over 50 academic and research staff and students working in graphene. Having made great strides in understanding and controlling the fundamental properties of graphene, we will now explore promising routes to manufacturable graphene materials, devices and systems. Specifically we will: (i) develop pioneering, high-throughput atomic layer deposition (ALD) techniques for graphene, suited to industry-compatible production technology on practical substrates, (ii) investigate a 'blue-skies' approach capable of high-speed, high-resolution direct-writing of graphene.
|Effective start/end date||1/02/13 → 31/01/16|
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council