Science

New process could usher in "graphene-driven industrial revolution"

New process could usher in "gr...
A new low-cost graphene production process is claimed to grow graphene 100 times faster than conventional CVD systems
A new low-cost graphene production process is claimed to grow graphene 100 times faster than conventional CVD systems
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A new low-cost graphene production process is claimed to grow graphene 100 times faster than conventional CVD systems
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A new low-cost graphene production process is claimed to grow graphene 100 times faster than conventional CVD systems
The resistive-heating cold wall CVD system developed by UK-based company, Moorfield Nanotechnology
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The resistive-heating cold wall CVD system developed by UK-based company, Moorfield Nanotechnology

It's hard to find an article about graphene that doesn't include the words "wonder material" somewhere within it. Less wondrous, unfortunately, is the expensive and time consuming chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process used to produce it industrially. Now researchers from the University of Exeter claim to have discovered a new low-cost technique to produce high quality graphene that could see the wonder material start to realize its potential.

The new system is based on technologyalready used in the manufacture of semiconductors, providing the potential tomass produce graphene using existing facilities instead of sinking money intocompletely new plants. It involves growing graphene in an industrial resistive-heating cold wallCVD system developed by UK-based company, Moorfield Nanotechnology. Theresearchers say this so-called nanoCVD system can grow graphene 100 timesfaster than conventional CVD systems, cuts costs by 99 percent, and producesgraphene boasting enhanced electronic qualities.

The resistive-heating cold wall CVD system developed by UK-based company, Moorfield Nanotechnology
The resistive-heating cold wall CVD system developed by UK-based company, Moorfield Nanotechnology

The Exeter researchers, led by ProfessorMonica Craciun, have used this new technique to create a graphene-based touchsensor that is flexible and transparent. In addition to more flexibleelectronic devices, the researchers believe such sensors will also enable trulyflexible electronic skin for use in robots.

"Emerging flexible and wearabletechnologies such as healthcare electronics and energy-harvesting devices couldbe transformed by the unique properties of graphene," says Dr ThomasMoorfield, a former PhD student at Exeter who is now working at Moorfield."The extremely cost efficient procedure that we have developed forpreparing graphene is of vital importance for the quick industrial exploitationof graphene."

The team's research findings appear in thejournal Advanced Materials.

Source: University of Exeter

8 comments
TemirlanNugmanov
Are there any popular consumer products manufactured from graphene? What it exactly this material can be used for?
zevulon
talk talk talk. when a claimed revolutionary tech is promoted, best way is video demonstration.
DonGateley
Here we go! Finally. I hope.
Daishi
@TemirlanNugmanov In a nutshell it is one of the materials we could start using when we can no longer make silicon smaller. It can be one atom thick, its the strongest material in the world, and it's more conductive than copper.
We could make things like super capacitors that could potentially replace batteries. We could make much smaller, more powerful, and more efficient electronics etc. Graphene LED's could improve lighting efficiency.
Graphene camera sensors are (1,000 times) more sensitive to light. Graphene solar panels would be more efficient. If graphene could be produced easily there would be breakthroughs in lots of different industries.
PedroNuno
Its just a matter of time till they say this could revolutionize batteries and all of it goes down the drain.
Synchro
Yay! This is my cousin's PhD... He's the first name on the linked paper.
Robert Bernal
I wonder if this means different voltages for leds, lower drop out voltages for diodes - and super light, extra long ladders, super strong support structures (and even "space elevator" cables for real)?
ChrisLeavitt
TemirlanNugmanov, due to the high cost currently associated with graphene production, the answer is no. As soon as someone begins mass-producing it for next to nothing, however, it will certainly revolutionize the technology world, and nearly every electronic device will use it in some fashion. We may even see its use extend beyond electronics, due to the high strength and light weight (might largely replace Carbon Fiber in all applications that material is currently used in).
Back to my "if"... it's a big one. I've seen articles like this before, where someone claimed they can produce graphene much cheaper. Still seeing no signs of any industrial revolution, however. Seems to me that some company somewhere just needs someone to prod them along through the process of ramping up production.