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Graphene's new development workshop

Graphene is the material that’s expected to open up new opportunities for the electronics of the future. The Swedish graphene initiative, that includes researchers from Linköping UniversityChalmers and Uppsala University, will receive SEK 40 million to study how the material’s unique potential can be converted into technical solutions.

The  Knut and Alice Wallenberg Fund investment will support five years of research at the three institutions.

“I’m quite happy that the project went through. My research group will be responsible for growing graphene on silicon carbide, which we’re experts at,” says Rositza Yakimova, professor of materials science at Linköping University.

Her group is the only one in the world using a method that manages to get high-quality graphene to grow over larger surfaces of up to two inches. Yakimova is counting on developing the technique further and optimising the manufacturing process. Before long she’ll be starting a spin-off company for commercial production.


Graphene is the thinnest material ever created by humans. Like graphite, diamonds, fullerenes, and carbon nanorods, graphene is also constructed of symmetrically joined carbon atoms, but in only one or a few atomic layers. The two-dimensional structure offers very special characteristics, graphene is:

  • Ductile
  • Translucent
  • Stronger than diamonds
  • An unmatched ability to conduct electrical currents

The goal of the new project is to develop methods adapted to contemporary component development. Step one is the development of synthesis methods. Then, they will go on towards specific components with better performance than the semiconductors in today’s electronics.

Graphene’s translucence and flexibility provides an interesting vision of how future computers can look and be used. New opportunities are opening up in THz technology, which works with extremely high frequencies; for example ‘soft X-rays’ with applications in medicine and security.

Professor Rositza Yakimova, 013-282528, with questions about the project.
Senior Lecturer Mikael Syväjärvi, 013-285708, with questions about commercialisation.

Åke Hjelm Fri Oct 14 08:41:00 CEST 2011

LiU magazine

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