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Graphene Flagship and beyond: Success Stories from the Partnering Division

Graphene Flagship and beyond: Success Stories from the Partnering Division

Wednesday 7 September - 14:30-15:30

The Graphene Flagship's success stems not just from its partners, but also from the collaborations with organisations and projects beyond the Graphene Flagship. This session highlights success stories from Graphene Flagship Partnering Projects and Associated Members.

Introduction by Graphene Flagship Director, Jari Kinaret


Chemically modified graphenes: advanced synthesis and application in water monitoring and remediation - Manuela Melucci, National Research Council (CNR) / Institute for Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity


The development of advanced technologies for drinking water monitoring and treatment is mandatory to satisfy the Water Safety Plans recently introduced by the European Drinking Water Directive 2020/2184 and requested to any water operator to prevent and minimize risks related to water pollution.

Covalently modified graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets are herein proposed

as materials with combined sorption and electrical transduction properties. We are exploiting such tailored materials for simultaneous adsorption and detection of selected contaminants of concern (i.e. pharmaceuticals, pesticides and perfluoro-polyfluoro alkyl substances) in drinking water. We report here i) innovative synthetic and purification procedures for the covalent binding of molecules with specific recognition capability on GO/rGO and ii) the exploitation of the modified GO/rGO for the realization of devices (sensors and filters) for drinking water monitoring and remediation.


  • Research Scientist at the CNR- Institute for Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity, (ISOF-CNR, Bologna). Expertise in design and synthesis of functional p-conjugated and graphene materials.
  • Leader of the Advanced Materials Synthesis group of ISOF.
  • Expert member of the Body of Knowledge of the EIT-Climate KIC- Water scarcity and pollution.
  • Deputy Leader of the spearhead project of the Graphene Flagship ‘Graphil- graphene enhanced filters for water purification’, Coordinator of the Flagera project GO-FOR-WATER technical, Manager and PI of the project LIFE-Remembrance, all project focusing on new sustainable solutions for water purification.
  • PI of industrial contracts (Tetrapak, Culligan, Medica, Hera).
2D-Chemistry of Fluorographene Toward Functional Graphene Derivatives - Michal Otyepka, Palacky University Olomouc


A covalent graphene functionalization significantly modulates graphene electronic, magnetic, and surface properties. The direct covalent functionalization of graphene is, however, hampered by a low reactivity of this material, which calls for usage of harsh reaction conditions. We bypassed the low graphene reactivity by an alternative way. We developed a route toward graphene derivatives based on chemistry of fluorographene (FG). FG is a stoichiometric graphene derivative (having ~C1F1 composition), which can be prepared by chemical delamination of graphite fluoride in a large scale. FG is susceptible for chemical reactions at mild and controllable conditions. 2D-chemistry of FG enables a wide portfolio of graphene derivatives, which can be utilized in energy storage (electrode materials of supercapacitors, Li-ion and Li-sulfur batteries), catalysis (e.g., as support for single-atom catalysts), and sensing. An advantage of this chemistry is its easy scalability and high reproducibility of material properties. Recent developments as well as future steps toward commercialization of selected graphene derivatives will be discussed.

Graphene-based materials support the engineering of neural tissue - Paula Marques, Universidade de Aveiro


Biomaterials for spinal cord injury (SCI) repair and strategies for restoring spinal cord structure and function are required since SCI is a devastating clinical condition. Conductive 3D scaffolds are crucial for the engineering of neural tissues, where electrical stimulation can possibly regulate the development of neural progenitor cells into functional neuronal networks. Here, we look at the use of graphene-based materials (GBM) in two different ways: 1) as part of the 3D engineered scaffold, where reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is combined with an adipose-derived extracellular matrix; and 2) as a graphene-based conductive ink to act as the electrodes of a new multiwell 3D graphene-multielectrode array test platform for the non-invasive in vitro 3D electrical stimulation of the cells seeded on the previously mentioned 3D scaffolds. In this context, we concentrated on the singularities of GBM in order to interface with cells and enhance the scaffold's regenerative capacity. Prior to in vivo tests, in vitro research contributes to the evaluation of the scaffold's safety, the optimization of its composition and design, and the attempt to understand the action mechanism of cells in contact with the scaffold environment. Neural cell line (NE-4EC), embryonic neuroprogenitor cells (ENPCs), and naive astrocytes were selected to conduct in vitro studies on scaffolds containing various concentrations of rGO and adECM. We found that the presence of rGO induces the differentiation of neural stem cells into neurons, which is advantageous for stem cell-mediated repair strategies, and regulates the gene expression of marker genes (GFAP and NES) in naive astrocytes, which are characteristic of the reactive astrocytes known to be advantageous for injury repair due to their contribution to neuroprotection and axonal growth. These results demonstrate that these rGO-adECM scaffolds can drive neural stem cells and astrocytes toward a reparative phenotype.


Paula Marques graduated from the University of Aveiro in Portugal with a BS in Chemistry (1993), a MSc in Chemistry and Physics Teaching (1997), and a PhD in Materials Science Engineering with a specialisation in Biomaterials (2003).

Paula Marques is a tenured principal researcher in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Aveiro. She is leading the Nanoengineering Lab within the Mechanical Technology and Automation Centre. Her research focuses mostly on developing nanostructures with applications in regenerative medicine and water treatment. She has a has a long experience of developing a variety of polymer-based nanocomposites containing graphene-based materials, taking advantage of their multi-functional modalities. Nowadays, microfabrication techniques like 3D bioprinting and advanced 3D electrospinning techniques are being explored.

Since April 2019, she has been coordinating a FET Open H2020 project, "NeuroStimSpinal: A Step Forward to Spinal Cord Injury Repair Using Innovative Stimulated Nanoengineered Scaffolds." She is also coordinating and co-coordinating several Portuguese projects obtaining competitive funding.

Graphene in dispersion, a multipurpose additive - Thomas Bottein, PhD, Project Manager, Carbon Waters 


Graphene has many properties: not only it is the thinnest material but also the strongest, most impermeable and thermal conductive material known. A lot of applications are emerging among which many require graphene to be dispersed in a matrix to obtain an enhanced graphene-matrix formulation. It is the case in the sectors of polymers, composites, or organic coatings.

However, to enhance materials in real-life applications, well-dispersed high-quality graphene is needed. The dispersion is key to have an additive stable in a whole range of formulation types and to have a formulation stable over time.

Carbon Waters produces pioneering graphene stable dispersions. Thanks to its technology, Carbon Waters’ graphene dispersions are compatible with many matrices (resins, polymers…) and deposition techniques. This presentation will aim at presenting the anticorrosion and thermal management effects displayed in graphene-enriched coatings. This polyfunctional material offers significant improvements even at very low concentration.


After a PhD in nanomaterials, Thomas Bottein, joined the company Carbon Waters to lead the developments of graphene-based additives for formulations and coatings. His work at Carbon Waters consists in developing high added-value applications tailored to customers’ needs by integrating graphene dispersions into industrial products.