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  • By: Graphene Flagship
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 31 December 2020
  • By: Graphene Flagship
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 31 December 2020

Top Ten Graphene Flagship News Stories of 2020

Although 2020 has been a tumultuous year for many, the Graphene Flagship has remained as committed as ever to their goal of fostering research, innovation and collaboration in Europe. Even through hard times, Graphene Flagship scientists still achieve excellent results, with great progress on many different fronts.

Here, we will take a look at some of our most popular news stories from 2020 that showcase exciting developments using graphene and layered materials, enabled by the Graphene Flagship.

10. Layered structures put a spin on magnetic memories

Graphene is a unique material with great potential for the long-distance transportation of spin information. Now, researchers at Graphene Flagship partners ICN2 and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, have achieved efficient spin-to-charge interconversion in graphene and graphene-based heterostructures at room temperature, and devised a way to make this process tuneable using an external electric field. The findings could allow scientists to use layered heterostructures for ultra-compact, low-power consumption magnetic memory devices.

9. Business Developer Lilei Ye explores the applications of graphene in electronics

Lilei Ye is the Business Developer for electronics applications at the Graphene Flagship. She has more than 10 years of experience developing carbon-based materials for electronics. Lilei has been involved in technical project management interfacing between academia and industry with business development, product development and technology transfer. She offers her thoughts on the current state of graphene for applications in the field of electronics.

8. Graphene, perovskites and silicon prove an ideal tandem for efficient solar cells

Graphene Flagship researchers successfully combined graphene with tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells to achieve efficiencies of up to 26.3%. Moreover, they envisioned a new manufacturing method that, thanks to the versatility of graphene, can reduce production costs and could lead to the production of large-area solar panels. Graphene-based tandem solar cells almost double the efficiency of pure silicon.

7. Graphene bio-inks for rechargeable batteries and energy storage devices

Researchers at Graphene Flagship partners Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, CIC EnergiGUNE and INCAR-CSIC, Spain, have produced rechargeable batteries and energy storage devices made of a non-toxic and environmentally friendly graphene-based material. With current metal-ion batteries reaching their theoretical limitations in terms of cycle life, capacity and power, researchers focused on metal-air alternatives, such as sodium-air (Na-O2) batteries. Equipped with sodium anodes and oxygen-trapping cathodes, these devices have interesting and unique rechargeable capabilities – especially when they incorporate graphene.

6. Business Developer Nathan Feddy reviews the applications of graphene in composites

We interviewed Nathan Feddy, our business developer for composites applications for the Graphene Flagship. Feddy has worked with several high-profile companies to incorporate graphene into their composite materials and products, looking to provide multi-faceted performance improvements and additional enhancements. In this article, he offers his thoughts on the current state of graphene in composites applications.

5. Amorphous boron nitride shows excellent insulating properties for next generation of electronics

Amorphous boron nitride shows excellent insulating properties for the next generation of electronics, as demonstrated in a collaborative study by Samsung, UNIST (Korea) and the Graphene Flagship. The team developed ultrathin boron nitride films for new electronics with extremely low dielectric characteristics, high breakdown voltage and superior metal barrier properties. This newly fabricated material has great potential as an interconnect insulator in the next generation of electronic circuits.

4. Graphene-enabled silicon-based Li-ion battery boosts capacity by 30%

Silicon-based lithium-ion batteries could soon become the new standard. However, silicon has serious swelling problems that hinders progress towards commercial devices. A multidisciplinary team of Graphene Flagship researchers at VARTA Micro Innovation GmbH, Austria, and BeDimensional and Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Italy, have identified how to use graphene as a key ingredient to overcome these obstacles in a practical application. These newly developed graphene-enabled batteries withstand over 300 cycles and have capacities that are 30% higher than any currently available alternative.

3. Graphene Flagship celebrates the first virtual scientific conference for women in graphene

Connecting the global community of women working in the field of graphene and layered materials, the Graphene Flagship hosted its first ever digital Women in Graphene conference on 18 and 19 March 2020. The event looked to tackle the gender gap in the graphene and wider science field. Through a range of seminars and workshops, the Graphene Flagship's two-session event challenged gender bias by connecting women working in the scientific field, promoting gender diversity and providing a support network for professional growth.

2. Europe developing its first Experimental Pilot Line for 2D materials

A new €20M project funded by the European Commission aims to gather European expertise across the value chain to bring graphene and related materials to market. The 2D Experimental Pilot Line (2D-EPL) is a collaborative project that will pioneer the manufacture of new prototype electronics, photonics and sensors integrating GRMs, and offer prototyping services to companies, research centres and academics to develop their innovative technologies based on 2D materials in an established processing platform.

1. The Graphene Flagship publishes handbook of graphene manufacturing

The Graphene Flagship published the handbook of graphene manufacturing, a comprehensive review article that encompasses methods for producing and processing graphene and up to 5,000 innovative layered materials. The publication is completely open access and aims to provide a single source of knowledge on graphene and related layered materials (GRMs).

These ten news stories are a shining example of how the Graphene Flagship always keeps sailing forward, even in times of adversity. On behalf of the entire Graphene Flagship family, we wish you a very happy 2021.

Author bio

Graphene Flagship
Graphene Flagship

Bringing together 118 academic and industrial partners in 12 research and innovation projects and 1 coordination and support project, the Graphene Flagship initiative will continue to advance Europe’s strategic autonomy in technologies that rely on graphene and other 2D materials. The initiative, which builds on the previous 10-years of the Graphene Flagship, is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. The 2D-Experimental Pilot Line, addressing the challenges of upscaling 2D material production processes for the semiconductor industry, is another key component of the Graphene Flagship eco-system.