How will graphene change our lives?
Story supplied by LU Press Office
Wonder material graphene could not only dominate the electronic market in the near future, it could also lead to a huge range of new markets and novel applications, according to a landmark paper by the University of Manchester and Lancaster University.
Writing in Nature, Nobel Prize-winner Professor Kostya Novoselov and an international team of authors including Vladimir Falko of Lancaster University, has produced a graphene roadmap which for the first time sets out what the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material can truly achieve.
The paper details how graphene has the potential to revolutionise diverse applications from smartphones and ultrafast broadband to anticancer drugs and computer chips.
One key area is touchscreen devices, such as Apple's iPad, which use indium tin oxide. Graphene's outstanding mechanical flexibility and chemical durability are far superior. Graphene touchscreen devices would prove far more long-lasting and would open a way for flexible devices.
The authors estimate that the first graphene touchscreen devices could be on the market within three to five years, but it will only realise its full potential in flexible electronics applications.
Rollable e-paper is another application which should be available as a prototype by 2015 - graphene's flexibility proving ideal for fold-up electronic sheets which could revolutionise electronics.
Timescales for applications vary greatly depending upon the quality of graphene required, the report claims. For example, the researchers estimate devices including photo-detectors, high-speed wireless communications and THz generators (for use in medical imaging and security devices) would not be available until at least 2020, while anticancer drugs and graphene as a replacement for silicon is unlikely to become a reality until around 2030.
Professor Vladimir Falko, who co-authored the paper, said: "In our paper, we aim to raise awareness and alert engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to the enormous potential of graphene to improve the existing technologies and to generate new products.
"In some countries, including Korea, Poland and the UK, national funding agencies already run multi-million engineering-led research programmes aiming at commercialisation of graphene at a large scale."
Thu 11 October 2012
In the REF2014 Research Excellence Framework the Lancaster Physics Department was ranked 2nd in the UK for the amount of its research output judged to be of internationally leading (4 star) quality. Indeed, 28% of our publications submitted for assessment were deemed to belong in the top bracket.
Thu 18 December 2014
Researchers in the Physics Department's Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science (SPEARS) Group have been awarded £923,000 by the Science and Technology Facilities Council to study the plasma environments within our solar system.
Fri 21 November 2014
Professor Jim Wild, jointly with colleagues at the University of Leicester, has secured a NERC award of £423,000, £123,000 of which will come to Lancaster.
Fri 07 November 2014
On 24th October, forty teachers from across the South Lakes area visited the Faculty of Science and Technology, as part of a partnership between Lancaster University, Research Council UK, and the South Lakes Federation.
Thu 06 November 2014