In recent years, graphene carries the hope for the future transformation of industrial areas, in October 2013 the European Union launched the first 10-year “Graphene flagship project” aimed at making European companies’ access to the global technology race graphene initiative Right. ” During the General Assembly before the project’s “2015 Graphene Week,” Science and Technology Daily reporter interviewed on issues related to the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the project, the University of Cambridge Prof. graphene center Andre Ferrari.
Graphene project is progressing well received
Professor Ferrari that the next 10 years to upgrade and change Graphene has huge potential for a number of industries, but also in Europe and worldwide is expected to create many new jobs. Thus, from a technical point of view look at graphene what is more important for what specific industries, which is very critical.
Professor Ferrari said that the European Commission after the review of the progress of the project to give a positive evaluation, that “great success.” Over the past year, the project published a large number of research results, apply for a number of patents; have to get all of the harmonization work program.
He was careful to stress that at present the project is still in its infancy, is facing two major challenges in the implementation process: First, management challenges and political aspects. Because the project involves many EU member states, a number of research centers, institutions and enterprises must ensure effective cooperation between all parties involved; the second is to ensure the application of industry will shift from basic research projects. At present, more and more industry partners, especially some of the big European companies have joined the project, including the United Kingdom FlexEnable company, Infineon, Ericsson and Alcatel, etc. It is fit the purposes of the project – build strong partnerships with industry.
Graphene development faces three major challenges
Ferrari believes that the main obstacle to the development of graphene in 2015 there are three: the first is currently capable of producing material exhibits some of the characteristics of the material used to manufacture equipment and people will need some properties, there is “gap” in between. Graphene value chain are rendered integral manner, but in the preparation of a material, the corresponding need for special types of graphene – that there are many different types of graphene, but not always good for the same purpose. The manufacture of electronic equipment requires a graphene, manufactured battery requires an entirely different graphene; manufacturing a battery can not be used to make graphene transistors, and vice versa.
The second Fab is graphene semiconductor material (for large-scale manufacturing apparatus) integration. “Graphene flagship project” just designed a “wafer-scale integration” to achieve the integration of graphene typical Fab materials. If you can not graphene into Fab, you can not use it into other devices. Europe is lucky to have such as Nokia, Ericsson and Alcatel and other large companies, they eventually realize that the next step is the integration of graphene and semiconductor Fab. If that is successful, large scale production of graphene will be achieved.
The third is the overall cost of the finished device, that compared with other technology is competitive, but this is still difficult to determine.
The next 10 years the most promising application
Professor Ferrari that the next 10 years, will have in the field of graphene composites, transparent semiconductor materials, energy, photonics, optoelectronics and sensors to application.
From the schedule, the next two to three years, graphene the most promising applications will be composite. European companies as a company called Head of a tennis racket is using graphene production; another European companies are preparing to launch join graphene bicycle tire; and a company is turning its attention to a composite material having mechanical properties and thermal properties . These applications are all composite materials. Thereafter, a transparent conductive material such as mobile phones and television screens.
The next five years, graphene will accomplish a great deal in the energy sector, such as graphene Graphene supercapacitor battery and the like; the next 5 years to 10 years, in the field of graphene optics, photonics and sensors, optical sensors, aspects of laser sensors, modulator and data transmission equipment, etc. are applied.
We need to carefully look at the amount of graphene patent
According to the British consulting firm Cambridge IP patent research, as of May 2014 the number of patent applications worldwide in the field of graphene was 11,372, accounting for 3060 Asia, Europe and the United Kingdom only 361 and 41, respectively, clearly in a backward position. In this regard, Ferrari believes require careful look at the number of patents in the field of graphene.
He pointed out that China and South Korea in the field of graphene large number of patents filed, and the European Patent Office granted a patent in very picky, so a small number of patent applications filed in Europe. The gap between the number of patents, shows that Europe is not in the art in a backward situation of indicators.
In terms of the absolute number of patents, it is undeniable Europe lagging behind, but the quality is not lower than in other countries. China’s number of patents is not an international patent; the number of patents in a particular field in Korea as many as dozens, while the European patent will cover a number of research fields. Europe and the UK really need more patent, also are working on it, but need to be more careful look at the number of patents.
Integration of graphene research and development will surely be beneficial
Ferrari on several occasions to China for academic exchanges, he joked that every time only two entry visa forced him to constantly update visa. He pointed out that China has a lot of graphene research and development activities: 2014 Ningbo on graphene organized a major conference; Beijing in semiconductor physics and other aspects of graphene and topological insulators is a strength; China graphene Union has also been the local government support.
Ferrari said that China is a big country, at regional level or individual level research institutions, there are a lot of graphene research and development projects, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang and other places of the regional R & D activities are very strong. At present, China is still not a whole graphene research and development program, but it is hard to be together. He believes that these R & D activities are coordinated response. If the efforts in China graphene research and development are consolidated under a single plan, it is certainly beneficial.