In the previous article, we looked at keynote presentations from the first day of Graphene Week 2015 in Manchester. Here we report on Graphene Focus, an open forum to which researchers, industrialists and the general public were invited to contribute questions. Graphene Focus is but one of many ways in which the Graphene Flagship makes itself accountable to the world beyond the research community, industry and the political establishment.
Graphene Week is the centrepiece of the Graphene Flagship calendar, and this year the conference takes place at the University of Manchester in northern England. The city of Manchester, renowned the world over as a centre of trade, technology and innovation, is home to the UK’s National Graphene Institute. It is also the research base of Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, the lauded scientists who in 2010 won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering work on the properties of graphene.
Launched in October 2013, the Graphene Flagship has now been sailing for a little over a year. Much has been achieved in this short time, yet we are only a tenth of the way on a voyage that we hope will take graphene and related materials from academic laboratories into society.
Graphene Flagship researchers show how graphene oxide suspended in water biodegrades in a reaction catalysed by a human enzyme, with the effectiveness of the breakdown dependent on the colloidal stability of the suspension. The study should guide the development of graphene-based biomedical applications.
Electronics is based on the manipulation of electrons and other charge carriers, but in addition to charge, electrons possess a property known as spin. When spin is manipulated with magnetic and electric fields, the result is a spin-polarised current that carries more information than is possible with charge alone. Spin-transport electronics, or spintronics, is a subject of active investigation within Europe’s Graphene Flagship.
Scientists affiliated with Europe’s Graphene Flagship develop a photodetector that converts incident light into electrical signals on femtosecond timescales, enabling ultrafast operation speeds for electronic circuits in optical communications and various other applications.
Chemists from Europe’s Graphene Flagship review the potential for graphene-organic composite materials in electronics. The researchers show how organic semiconductors can be used to better process graphene, and to tune its properties for particular applications.
Graphene Flagship scientists observe square ice crystals between graphene layers brought together under ultra-high pressures generated by atomic interactions. The finding could lead to a better understanding of water flow through nanoscale channels and across membranes.
Graphene provides an effective shield against microwaves, say researchers from Europe’s Graphene Flagship. The finding could see this two-dimensional material used to reduce microwave pollution and enhance the electromagnetic compatibility of future nanoscale electronic devices.
11 new industrial partners join the Graphene Flagship as a result of an open Expression of Interest to bring in complementary competences and capabilities in specific areas, such as aerostructures manufacturing, biosensors, and supercapacitors.
The European Commission has delivered its first review of the Graphene Flagship. The overall conclusion is that the Flagship has made good scientific and technological progress over its first year of activities.
The journal Carbon publishes a special issue devoted to the EuroGRAPHENE programme of the European Science Foundation, with input from the Graphene Flagship.
Europe’s Graphene Flagship lays out a science and technology roadmap, targeting research areas designed to take graphene and related 2d materials from academic laboratories into society.
Scientists working with Europe’s Graphene Flagship provide a wide-ranging review of the potential for two-dimensional crystals in energy conversion and storage.