Lancaster University

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Physicists to develop 'roadmap' for Graphene

05/03/2011 00:00:00


Lancaster is to participate in forming the European Commission long-term research and innovation policy.

Lancaster University is to play a role in a major European Commission funded Flagship Programme called GRAPHENE-CA to develop plans for a 10-year, €1Bn investment for technological innovation and economic exploitation based on graphene and related two-dimensional materials.

Lancaster’s role, led by Professor Vladimir Falko (Physics), is to develop the science and technology roadmap for the future investment. These will be the structured plans for what new research on graphene and other two-dimensional materials is needed and the routes for the implementation of graphene in industrially viable technologies. The Lancaster team will determine what new facilities should be built in Europe for that.

The action plan for the Flagship will be submitted, in 2012, to the European Commission, aiming for GRAPHENE to be launched as one of the two active Flagships, in 2013.

Professor Falko said: “Our hopes are high for the proposed Flagship Programme to raise the exploration of atomically thin materials in Europe to a qualitatively new level and to deliver their immediate implementation in various products, for the benefit of a wide range of consumers.’

Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, may be the most amazing and versatile substance available to mankind. Stronger than diamond, yet lightweight and flexible, graphene enables electrons to flow much faster than silicon. The groundbreaking experiments on graphene in 2004 by European scientists Geim and Novoselov were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. Graphene is also a transparent conductor, combining electrical and optical functionalities in an exceptional way.

Graphene can trigger a smart and sustainable carbon revolution in information and communication technology (ICT), and in everyday life. Its unique properties will spawn innovation for high speed, transparent and flexible consumer electronics; novel information processing devices; biosensors; supercapacitors as alternatives to batteries; lightweight composites for mechanical components in cars and planes.

GRAPHENE Flagship aims to bring together a large interdisciplinary European research community to form a sustainable incubator of new branches of ICT applications, ensuring that European industries will have a major role in this radical technology shift over the next 10 years. An effective transfer of knowledge and technology to the private sector will enable product development and production.

The Coordination Action GRAPHENE-CA, which starts on 1 May, 2011, aims to pave the way for the full, 10 year, €100M per year, Flagship GRAPHENE, both in terms of the organizational framework and a scientific and technological roadmap for research and innovation.

It includes nine partners deeply involved in graphene research and networking activities: the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster and Cambridge in the UK, the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, AMO GmbH in Germany, the European Science Foundation, the Italian National Research Council, the Nokia Corporation, and coordinating Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. The CA advisory council includes Nobel Laureates Andre Geim, Konstantin Novoselov, Albert Fert, and Klaus von Klitzing.

More details on the graphene flagship pilot, and images, can be found at:

More information on the EU Future Emerging Technology Flagship Initiative: