The morning plenary session started with a talk from Professor Hongwei Zhu, Tsinghua University, China, who gave an excellent overview of the potential for graphene in multifunctional applications. He showed that influences from the natural world can be used to make better graphene devices. For example, woven fibres that include graphene nano platelets create an efficient strain sensor, the morphology of which was inspired by the structure of fish scales.
The session then continued with Professor Eva Andrei, a theoretical physicist from Rutgers University, USA, explaining what happens when graphene is imperfect. “New and surprising phenomena emerge when you pluck out a carbon atom from the graphene structure,” said Professor Andrei.
Later in the session Professor Xiaohui Tang, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, spoke about using graphene as multifunctional sensors that can be integrated into CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) chips. “The most important step in graphene sensor fabrication is the functionalisation of graphene without damage, which increases sensitivity and the selectivity,” said Professor Tang.
Lunchtime fringe session
At today’s lunchtime fringe session, Dr Kari Hjelt, the Head of Innovation for the Graphene Flagship talked further about technology commercialisation in his presentation; 'How to launch a start-up'. Outlining the ten questions that any budding entrepreneur must ask themselves before beginning to commercialise their technology, Dr Hjelt and the questions he received from the audience were very inspiring.
Graphene Innovation Forum - Standardisation
The afternoon of parallel sessions continued to draw on the graphene ecosystem theme, with sessions on synthesis, science and applications, heterostructures, and the third and final Graphene Innovation Forum, which focused on standardisation of graphene.
This session was chaired by Dr Katarina Boustedt, Work Package leader of Research Management for the Graphene Flagship, the Work Package responsible for advancing standardisation of graphene. The first speaker was Dr Norbert Fabricius, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, who heads the Flagship’s standardisation work. “Standardisation supports technical progress, commercial success, sustainable production and economic growth in a global world,” said Dr. Fabricius
A lively panel discussion at the end of the session raised questions from the audience which highlighted agreement between speakers regarding the importance and need for standardisation.
“Due to the difficulties of defining graphene, standardisation should be application-based. For example, one could standardise on conductivity,” said Dr Fabricius.
“Standardisation needs to evolve alongside applications, so that you can define the right material and the right process,” said Dr. Amaia Zurutuza, Graphenea, Spain.
Standardisation: Standardisation of Graphene and other 2D Materials Session was organised by the Graphene Flagship Standardisation committee.
The three different sessions of the Graphene Innovation Forum (Roadmapping, Commercialisation and Standardisation) were introduced to Graphene Week 2016 by the Graphene Flagship and its Innovation Work Package. Bringing into focus aspects of graphene innovation, the Forum was a huge success, as illustrated in the overview video at the top of the page.
Women in Graphene
For the second year in a row Graphene Week hosted a very successful Women in Graphene event. This event gave women, and male allies, the opportunity to speak openly about the barriers to entry of women in science and what might be undertaken to break them down, and improve current gender imbalance.
Hear it for yourself
Some key graphene experts and up-and-coming researchers gave their informal views of the conference on camera:
The third day of Graphene Week 2016 was fascinating, with talks from the entire graphene ecosystem – from theoretical physics all the way through to commercialisation.